Support Workers Fired at Flaum Appetizing Company in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn!
Demonstration on Thursday, June 19th, of workers, family members and supporters.
On Monday May 26, 2008, twenty long-term employees at Flaum Appetizing Company, a major distributor of high-end kosher products in Williamsburg, Brooklyn New York, lawfully stopped work to protest of the firing of one of their co-workers, Maria Corona. At this point, instead of negotiating with them, management locked out and fired these workers. Previously required to work more than sixty hours per week without legally-mandated overtime pay, without sick leave, holidays, vacations, or even drinking water on the job, the workers joined the Food and Allied Workers Union 460/640, IWW.
The workers had not received overtime, as mandated by New York state law, paid sick days or holidays, until, after joining the union for the purposes of collective bargaining, they had petitioned the management. After joining the union, workers had won paid breaks, their first paid holidays, paid vacations, and time and a half for hours worked over 40. The National Labor Relations Board had documented the employees' allegations and has issued a formal complaint against the company's actions, and is currently investigating additional labor law violations. In addition, a federal lawsuit has been filed against Flaum for past violations of wage and hour laws.
Articles on this situation appeared in Vos Iz Neias, "Williamsburgh, NY - Flaum Appetizing Under Scrutiny For Its Labor Practices," in The Forward, "Kosher Distributor Faces Labor Court Hearing," and El Diario, "Protestan por despidos en Brooklyn: Empresa deja cesantes a trabajadores mexicanos que la acusan de abuso laboral."
The fired workers' most immediate concern is to have their jobs reinstated. While the workers’ case against Flaum will play itself out in the courts and at the Labor Board, letters encouraging management to end the lock-out, and give these workers their jobs back, can be sent to
288 Scholes Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206