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Wild Edibles Offering Bribes to Evade Accountability

For Immediate Release:
Brandworkers International

Contact: press (at) brandworkers.org

Brandworkers Denounces Bribe Offers as Wild Edibles' Latest Attempt to Avoid Accountability to Employees

New York, NY (02/03/2009) - Brandworkers, a non-profit for retail and food employees, announced today that several of its members from Wild Edibles, Inc. have been offered bribes to end a 16-month workplace accountability campaign directed at the company.  While refusing to pay what is owed in ongoing federal court and Labor Board litigation, Wild Edibles owner Richard Martin and one of his lieutenants have been offering cash payments to workers if they revoke their membership in Brandworkers and repudiate a worker-led public education campaign regarding rights abuses at the seafood processor and retailer.

"We're not taking Richard Martin's dirty money," said Pedro Hernandez, a former Wild Edibles worker and plaintiff in the class action lawsuit against Wild Edibles over payment violations and retaliation.  "After almost a year and a half, Wild Edibles still doesn't understand that our struggle is about dignity and compliance with the law."

The bribe attempts come as the National Labor Relations Board investigates collusion between Wild Edibles and the Production Workers Union Local 148, a labor organization with a history of corruption.  According to charges from the Industrial Workers of the World, Wild Edibles unlawfully brought Local 148 into the workplace as a barrier to bona fide organizing activity.

Despite a diverse array of retaliation and evasion from Wild Edibles, Brandworkers members have pledged to fight on until workers' rights are respected at the company.  Approximately sixty of the most prominent restaurants in New York City have stopped serving seafood from Wild Edibles over concern for the welfare of workers there.

The Brandworkers Focus on the Food Chain campaign promotes a sustainable food system which incorporates respect for workers' human rights.