Restaurant Pastis Severs Ties with Seafood Company Accused of Labor Violations

Mon, 10/08/2007 - 3:05pm

For Immediate Release:
Brandworkers International


Restaurant Pastis Severs Ties with Seafood Company Accused of Labor Violations

Effort to 'Tame Wild Edibles' Scores Major Victory

New York, NY- Brandworkers International, a non-profit organization for retail and food employees, announced today that the renowned Pastis restaurant and its affiliated restaurants have agreed to discontinue purchasing seafood from Wild Edibles, Inc. while Wild Edibles is subject to litigation for alleged labor rights abuses. Employees recently filed a large federal class action lawsuit against Wild Edibles, a major seafood distributor and retailer, alleging systematic denial of overtime pay and a campaign of retaliation from management after employees asserted their right to payment according to the law and to join the IWW labor union.

"Pastis concluded that its guests would not approve of eating seafood from a company accused of such serious disrespect for workers' rights," said Daniel Gross, co-founder of Brandworkers International. "The workers will now look to the rest of Wild Edibles' customers to follow the positive example set by Pastis."

In addition to Pastis, five other affiliated New York City hotspots- Balthazar, Schiller's Liquor Bar, Morandi, Pravda, and Lucky Strike- will also refrain from dealing with Wild Edibles until the labor dispute is resolved. Employees say that instead of addressing their concerns about payment practices and treatment on the job, Wild Edibles and its owner Richard Martin have fired five workers in retaliation for asserting their rights. A federal court judge in Manhattan has granted the workers request for a temporary restraining order against retaliation by Wild Edibles.

By empowering retail and food employees with social change tools, Brandworkers International seeks to increase employer compliance with the law and improve working conditions throughout the supply chain. The Brandworkers Focus on the Food Chain initiative provides legal and advocacy support to food warehouse workers in Brooklyn and Queens who are rising out of shameful working conditions.

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