Tortilleria Chinantla

Focus on the Food Chain has been hard at work seeking justice in the crushing death of Juan Baten, who was killed while working in a Brooklyn tortilla factory. We've been working closely with Juan's widow, Rosario, to honor Juan's memory, hold his employer accountable, and to do everything in our power to make sure such a tragedy isn't repeated in New York's food supply chain.

To Honor a Life - Saying Goodbye to Juan Baten

Wed, 07/17/2013 - 5:05pm
Francisco Castro, a Brandworkers member, with a poster showing Juan Baten at a memorial candlelight vigil in January.

A Message to the Brandworkers Community from Daniel Gross

Last week, a judge in Brooklyn finally sentenced the owner of the tortilla factory where Juan Baten was killed to pay a large restitution payment of $450,000 along with 90 days of jail time.

Here's what Juan's widow Rosario had to say about the sentencing of the owner Erasmo Ponce:

Statements on Sentencing of Tortilla Factory Owner Where Worker was Killed

Mon, 07/08/2013 - 5:36pm

Erasmo Ponce was sentenced today in a Brooklyn criminal court to pay $450,000 in restitution and serve 90 days in jail.

Brandworkers has been honored to partner with Juan Baten's widow Rosario Ramirez to achieve a measure of justice after Juan was crushed to death in a mixing machine. The employer failed to install a legally required machine guard.

Sentencing for Owner of Tortilla Factory Where Worker Died

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 9:18am

Sentencing for Erasmo Ponce, the owner of Tortilleria Chinantla, has been delayed until July 8, 2013. Ponce was due to be sentenced in early January for workplace crimes uncovered after the death of Juan Baten. On January 24, 2011, Juan Baten was crushed to death by a tortilla dough mixing machine. A simple, inexpensive, and legally mandated machine guard would have saved Juan Baten's life. Erasmo Ponce pleaded guilty in June 2012 to payroll and workers compensation violations. He is expected to receive 90 days in jail and pay $400,000 in restitution. 

Tortilla factory owner Erasmo Ponce arrested after probe by AG Schneiderman [NY Daily News]

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 5:55pm

The owner of a Brooklyn tortilla factory where a worker was crushed to death has been charged with filing false tax documents and not paying employees overtime. Erasmo Ponce, who is also accused of not paying for worker’s compensation insurance, was arrested Tuesday and released without bail. He could not be reached for comment on the charges brought by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Statement on the Arrest of Tortilla Factory Owner Erasmo Ponce

Wed, 03/28/2012 - 2:32pm

Focus on the Food Chain is very gratified that tortilla factory owner Erasmo Ponce has been brought to justice in a case stemming from the workplace death of Juan Baten.  While nothing will bring Juan Baten back to his widow and daughter, this arrest is an important step forward toward accountability in New York City's food processing industry, where reckless disregard for worker health & safety is increasingly the norm.  Juan Baten started working at the Chinantla tortilla factory at age sixteen, working as much as twelve hours a day, six days a week.  OSHA, the federal workplace safety agency, concluded that Mr. Baten would not have been crushed to death in a mixing machine had the employer installed a simple and legally required machine guard.

Juan Baten Remembrance Coverage

Thu, 02/02/2012 - 1:42pm

Focus on the Food Chain has been hard at work seeking justice in the crushing death of Juan Baten, who was killed just over a year ago in a Brooklyn tortilla factory. We've been working closely with Juan's widow, Rosario, to honor Juan's memory, hold his employer accountable, and to do everything in our power to make sure such a tragedy isn't repeated in New York's food supply chain.

Donations for Rosario Ramirez (Donaciones para Rosario Ramirez viuda de Juan Baten)

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 6:40pm

Rosario Ramirez lost her husband Juan Baten after he was crushed to death at a Brooklyn tortilla factory.

Rosario and her seven-month old daughter are in need of financial support to avoid eviction, put food on the table, and keep the utilities on.

Please take a moment to make an online contribution and help ensure Rosario and her daughter can persevere through these days of grief.

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Long Island City, NY 11101-4735
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