As many as 10,000 people assembled on the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City last Wednesday to celebrate another anniversary of the Chicago Haymarket Rebellion that ushered in the labor movement at the turn of the century. This year’s May Day in Mexico came after a sweeping reform in its Federal Labor Law enacted this past December. Unions participating mostly protested the reforms, which they call a threat to the future of their jobs and wages.
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Brooklyn Holocaust survivor celebrates his 104 birthday.
Rebecca Ellis is a freelance international reporter and content strategist with a background in independent radio, broadcast production, and translation. She is in the process of obtaining her M.S. degree in Journalism at Columbia University. After finishing a graduate program in Media Communication Studies at the Polytechnic University of Berlin in Germany, Rebecca worked as a senior research consultant in Mexico City for six months. In 2009, she received a DAAD stipend to travel to Chile for six months to write her master’s thesis on the topic of non-commercial news media in Chile during and after the Pinochet dictatorship. Rebecca is a strong proponent of media democracy, speaking truth to power, and narrative justice.
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The basics of kosher law govern the facility, where no meat products or utensils were seen together with the dairy products, the cheeses stored in a separate area of the warehouse.
But as strictly as Flaum follows the biblical laws, federal officials say Flaum is hardly kosher when it comes to adhering to labor law.
Moshe Grunhut and his kosher food distribution company, Flaum Appetizing Corp., have been at the center of a complex and high profile controversy about employment law involving major union organizers and advocates in two federal cases. In the first most widely publicized case, former kitchen workers, represented by the Industrial Workers of the World, allege that the company violated the National Labor Relations Act for discouraging its employees from organizing a union and firing them after doing so. The Industrial Workers of the World, a labor union, and Brandworkers International, a labor law non-profit, is representing 17 workers after they were fired during a union organizing drive. After the labor board ordered Flaum on Aug. 6, 2009 to pay at least $230,000 in damages to the workers, Flaum filed a countersuit alleging that the employees in questions were all illegal aliens and could therefore not organize a union, let alone be entitled to back pay or reinstatement. ∫
The NLRB case has sparked immense public controversy on many fronts. Reinforced by the labor board’s decision to strike down the company’s illegal aliens defense, the company’s discriminatory statements about its former workers, as well as its continuing failure to comply with the court order, generated bad publicity which tarnished Moshe Grunhut’s reputation as an upstanding member of Brooklyn’s Orthodox and Hasidic communities.
Originally, Grunhut had until February 14, 2012 to prove to the NLRB that the work papers the company has on file from the original dates they hired the 17 dismissed employees are authentic, using Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s e-verification system. To date, it is still unclear what has happened with this filing process.
The question remains as to whether the out-of-court settlement is another stall tactic or whether the company will pull through. Until he sees something in writing, Daniel Gross remains skeptical – and patient.
“We are confident that either way, we will prevail,” Gross said.
If an out-of-court settlement is reached, Eugene Eisner, acting attorney for the workers in the NLRB case calls it a win-win situation for everybody.
Once workers get their checks, Zabar’s for one will be putting Sonny and Joe’s back on the shelf, according to Saul Zabar, president and co-owner.