Steven Grunstein, a self-employed key-locksmith from North Tonawanda, New York, was looking forward to opening his first store. A year ago, he bought a storefront at Toledo Street and Broadway – buying Golden Key Locksmith, the only locksmith in Toledo, Ohio, from the former owner of the building. The narrow alcove-turned-shop, on a corner between two busy buildings, became a key-locksmith operation for several years. This was great, until the bank where the former owner worked took over his business. When the new owners found out about the business, they ordered the locksmith to stop work and told him that he had a week to vacate the building.
A couple weeks ago, the bank contacted the former employees and asked him to vacate the building. They claimed that the locksmith was in violation of the terms and conditions of his lease. He had not taken care of all the keys to the bank’s clients’ cars, they said. He had not replaced the keys as promised, the managers claimed. And he hadn’t returned the keys to the car of a client who owed a favor to the bank. They even called the locksmith, claiming he had damaged their cars. They threatened to call the police and asked him to leave the building.
The locksmith called them back and explained that they were not liable for damages to cars and that he would have to take out the key locks. The bank agreed to the lock replacement and the locksmith departed. The former employee called the locksmith again about two weeks later, after receiving another call from the bank. This time, the locksmith said that he needed to stay on site and repair a lock on the bank’s door. When he arrived, the bank manager told him that he couldn’t go inside because his work hours had been canceled.
The locksmith said he would have to get his license suspended until further notice. He could get another job as an employee of a locksmith service. He’d also need to pay his license fee for the month of July, he was told. The locksmith didn’t like this, so he decided to look around for other jobs and called the locksmith service. he called the local chamber of commerce. He was surprised to learn that the locksmith association didn’t have any such a group. local chapter.
After getting some advice, the locksmith went back to the locksmith association and informed them about his predicament. He explained to them that he had no intention of leaving his business because he needed to fix a lock on a bank’s door. The locksmith association told him he had to move the locks inside of the bank and he was free to go.
“We’ve got an issue with one of your members,” they told him. “The locksmith has to be removed from our locks because he won’t comply with our terms and conditions of service.” They told him that the locksmith had to pay for his removal.