Death in a New York Food Sweatshop [Counterpunch]

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 5:50pm

When many people think of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it's the fashionable boutiques, music scene, and hip bars that come to mind. But for thousands of recent immigrants, the eastern section of Williamsburg is where you go to find work in food processing and distribution factories that service many of New York City's markets and restaurants. If you've ever eaten a meal in New York, you can be assured that you've consumed food that has been produced and distributed through one of these food companies and those in a few adjacent neighborhoods.

Statement of Brandworkers on the Anti-Speech Legal Action Filed by Pur Pac

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 3:42pm

Brandworkers will vigorously defend and will prevail against Unfair Labor Practice charges filed today by the Pur Pac corporation in an attempt to hinder our right to speak out for workplace justice. Pur Pac, a distributor of food and restaurant supplies to Asian restaurants in New York City, is targeting the peaceful speech of immigrant workers who are educating restaurant customers about the company's lengthy track record of lawless behavior.

Statement of Focus on the Food Chain on the Worker Killed at Tortilleria Chinantla

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 3:16pm

We are deeply saddened by the killing early this morning of a young immigrant worker, Juan Baten, at a non-union Brooklyn food processing facility, and are extremely concerned about how workplace conditions may have led to his death. While it's too soon to make specific conclusions about the crushing death at the Chinantla tortilla factory, Focus on the Food Chain organizers report that the workplace appears emblematic of the adverse conditions facing immigrant workers in a large swath of processing and distribution companies that supply food products to many of New York City's markets and restaurants.

Park Slope Food Co-op loses faith in kosher vendor Flaum Appetizing Corp. [NY Daily News]

Fri, 12/03/2010 - 12:02pm

BY Erin Durkin


December 3rd 2010

The Park Slope Food Co-op has banned a Williamsburg kosher food company's products over charges it illegally fired workers who complained about getting stiffed on overtime.

The grocery store's members voted this week to pull from the co-op's shelves products from Flaum Appetizing Corp., which makes hummus, pickles, salads and other kosher products.

Flaum Appetizing Dropped by Prominent Market over Workers' Rights Concerns

Wed, 12/01/2010 - 3:17pm

Members of the Park Slope Food Coop, a highly-regarded Brooklyn market, voted last night to stop selling Flaum Appetizing Corp. products, including Sonny & Joe's hummus, over workers' rights concerns. Flaum, a kosher food company, and its owner Moshe Grudhut illegally fired seventeen of their Latino workers en masse after the employees stood up against over a decade of unlawfully withheld overtime pay, denial of benefits, and abusive treatment from management. Though Flaum's retaliatory conduct was judged illegal in February 2009 after a full trial, the company is resisting compliance with the judge's order including the payment of over $260,000 in lost wages.

Brandworkers and Martin Garbus Pledge Vigorous Defense of Gorilla Coffee Workers

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 2:17pm

Legendary First Amendment litigator Martin Garbus and noted workers' rights organization Brandworkers have taken on the representation of gourmet coffee workers being subjected to a controversial defamation lawsuit by prominent Brooklyn-based coffee company, Gorilla Coffee and its owners. After sustained attempts to improve what they viewed as a hostile work environment, the workers caused a stir in the gourmet coffee community and in the news media by resigning their employment at Gorilla Coffee as a group and discussing their decision in a letter to the New York Times. The Times, which published the letter online, and one of its reporters are also defendants in the suit which erroneously argues that the letter was defamatory. The letter is available online-

Kosher business refuses to pay $260,000 in back wages to fired workers [NY Daily News]

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 11:24am

November 26, 2010

By Izabela Rutkowski and Erin Durkin


A Williamsburg kosher food company is locked in a battle with former workers who charge they were stiffed out of overtime pay - and then fired when they complained.

National Labor Relations Board investigators found that Flaum Appetizing Corp. illegally booted the workers, and ordered the company to cough up around $260,000 in back pay. But owner Moshe Grunhut has refused to comply - saying he won't pay the workers because they're undocumented immigrants.

Brandworkers Defeats Anti-Speech Legal Action from the Flaum Appetizing Corp.

Wed, 11/10/2010 - 3:08pm

For years, Moshe Grudhut and his Flaum Appetizing Corp. violated federal and state workplace protections and when employees finally stood up for fair pay and respect, they were illegally fired en masse, as confirmed in a 2009 judicial opinion. It was ironic then, though not surprising, that Flaum and its lawyer Jeffrey A. Meyer, filed a bullying anti-speech legal action against the workers' campaign to recover illegally withheld compensation and bring the company into compliance with the rule of law. Confronted with the prospect that its baseless case would be dismissed, Flaum has withdrawn its charges and the withdrawal was approved yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Statement of Brandworkers on the Anti-Free Speech Legal Action Filed by the Flaum Appetizing Corp.

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:44am

Brandworkers is proud to stand with the immigrant employees campaigning to bring the Flaum Appetizing Corporation into compliance with the rule of law. For years, Flaum, one of the top processors and distributors of kosher foods in New York, illegally withheld overtime pay, denied workers any benefits, and ultimately subjected workers to vicious retaliation when they stood up for their rights. Though the workers prevailed after a full trial over the company's retaliation, owner Moshe Grudhut has done nothing but resist the court's order and has failed to compensate workers for over $260,000 in lost pay. Grudhut owes hundreds of thousands more in unpaid overtime but has refused attempts at reasonable settlement.


Sign up for email updates

4502 23rd St. 2nd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101-4735
(646) 568-5870