A note from Daniel Gross of Brandworkers
May 7, 2012
Dear Focus Friends,
We are overjoyed to announce the biggest victory yet from Focus on the Food Chain! Workers at Flaum Appetizing, with your unwavering support, have won their campaign with an exemplary global agreement. Our members have recovered $577,000 in unpaid wages and compensation for retaliation along with a binding code of conduct ensuring Flaum comports with all workplace rights going forward including anti-discrimination and health & safety protections.
You can check out some of the press coverage on today's victory:
New York Times: Kosher-Food Manufacturer to Pay $577,000 in Settlement
Crain's New York: Settlement paves way for end of hummus boycott
Jewish Daily Forward: Uri L'Tzedek Celebrates Flaums Victory
For over a decade, workers at Flaum Appetizing worked grueling sixty to eighty hour work weeks without overtime pay and sometimes not even the minimum wage. Latino workers were subjected to constant verbal harassment and forced to work at unsafe speeds. Focus on the Food Chain, a joint project of Brandworkers and the NYC IWW, helped the workers launch a powerful campaign that persuaded over 120 grocery store locations to remove Flaum products from their shelves and convinced the world's largest kosher cheese company to stop using Flaum as a distributor until workers' rights were respected. In the process, Flaum workers won a precedent-setting victory at the Labor Board in D.C. helping workers nationwide fend off unfounded allegations into their immigration status.
This global agreement, including over half a million dollars in recovered wealth, would not have been possible without your support. The Flaum workers have proven that all working people have the power to get organized, build their own campaigns, and successfully fight for dignity at work. Thank you for your solidarity and we look forward to continue working with you to create a sustainable food system that respects workers' human rights.
New York's main Spanish language newspaper, El Diario-La Prensa, also covered the story:
Trabajadores latinos recuperan salarios