Brandworkers used grassroots actions, media advocacy, and community organizing to win legal accountability at Wild Edibles, which supplies seafood to some of NYC's most famed restaurants in addition to operating retail seafood outlets.
Workers Reach Comprehensive Settlement with Prominent Seafood Company
Protracted Grassroots Campaign Saw Over 75 Leading Restaurants Stop Serving Wild Edibles Products
New York, NY- Lawyers filed with a federal bankruptcy judge a global settlement agreement totaling over $340,000 and containing strong workplace protections in a high-profile set of litigation brought by workers against one of New York's leading seafood companies, Wild Edibles, Inc.
The comprehensive settlement comes after a bitterly-contested campaign in which some two-dozen recent immigrant workers and their non-profit organization, Brandworkers, used grassroots actions, media advocacy, and community organizing in an effort to win legal accountability at Wild Edibles, which supplies seafood to some of NYC's most famed restaurants in addition to operating retail seafood outlets.
Update--- Thanks to your phone calls from around the world and the actions of Wild Edibles workers on the ground in NYC, Kittichai has decided to honor its word and refrain from serving seafood from the Wild Edibles sweatshop. Thank you for all the support. Together we can create an economy that respects the contributions of retail and food employees and every working person.---
Brandworkers, a non-profit for retail and food employees, announced today that several of its members from Wild Edibles, Inc. have been offered bribes to end a 16-month workplace accountability campaign directed at the company. While refusing to pay what is owed in ongoing federal court and Labor Board litigation, Wild Edibles owner Richard Martin and one of his lieutenants have been offering cash payments to workers if they revoke their membership in Brandworkers and repudiate a worker-led public education campaign regarding rights abuses at the seafood processor and retailer.
Three of the most popular Italian dining destinations in the East Village of Manhattan have stopped serving seafood from embattled wholesaler, Wild Edibles, Inc. Workers at Wild Edibles have been campaigning for over a year to reclaim unlawfully withheld overtime pay and win respect on the job. Frank, Lil' Frankie's, and Supper restaurants join over 45 leading NYC eateries that have decided not to serve Wild Edibles seafood until the workers' human rights are honored there.
The National Labor Relations Board has issued another complaint against Wild Edibles, Inc., a once well-regarded seafood wholesaler and retailer. Based on an investigation triggered by charges from the Industrial Workers of the World, the federal labor agency has accused Wild Edibles of interrogating and firing employee Julio Carbonel for protected organizing activities and of paying replacement workers to crash a labor rally.
Reverend Billy, a nationally-known advocate for responsible consumption and Pastor Jeff Mansfield, a leading voice for food justice at Judson Memorial Church, joined with Wild Edibles workers and their supporters this weekend to protest chef and restaurant owner Terrance Brennan at the New York City Wine & Food Festival. Brennan's Artisanal Bistro lied in writing by stating that it was no longer serving seafood processed by the Wild Edibles sweatshop when it in fact did continue to serve Wild Edibles products.
Terrance Brennan, Honor Your Word to the Workers of Wild Edibles!
Workers at the Wild Edibles seafood company are striving to win respect for the hard work they put in everyday. Over forty of New York's most prominent restaurants have stopped serving seafood processed by Wild Edibles because of the overwhelming evidence of workers' rights violations there.
Celebrated Italian Restaurants Choose Not to Serve Seafood from Wild Edibles or its Front Companies
Contact: press (at) brandworkers.org
September 16, 2008
New York, NY- Centro Vinoteca and Gusto, the popular Village restaurants sought after for their creative Italian specialties, have stopped serving seafood from wholesaler and retailer, Wild Edibles, Inc. over concern for workers' rights. Employees have been campaigning for over a year to win respect for work and family at Wild Edibles.