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Star Chef Drops Wild Edibles

For Immediate Release:
Brandworkers International

Star Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Restaurant Stops Serving Wild Edibles Seafood Over Workers' Rights Concerns

New York, NY (01/26/09)- Aquavit, a perennial winner of three stars from the New York Times, has stopped serving seafood from accused labor rights violator, Wild Edibles.  Workers at Wild Edibles have been campaigning for almost a year and a half to reclaim unlawfully withheld overtime pay and win respect on the job.  Aquavit joins over 50 other leading NYC eateries that have decided not to serve Wild Edibles seafood until the workers' human rights are honored there.

"I am pleased that in these tough economic times, Aquavit has heard our call for fairness and accountability from Wild Edibles," said Lino Martinez, a plaintiff in the class action overtime lawsuit against Wild Edibles.  The National Labor Relations Board has issued two complaints against Wild Edibles for retaliating against Martinez and several of his co-workers.

Instead of accepting a reasonable resolution of workers' concerns, Wild Edibles and its owner Richard Martin have embarked on a relentless and at times bizarre campaign of retaliation and evasion.  Most recently, the Industrial Workers of the World hit Wild Edibles with charges alleging that it is illegally conspiring with a labor union with a history of corruption, Local 148 of the Production Workers Union.  The company has painted various false names on many of its trucks to avoid accountability and fired or forced out twelve workers for asserting their rights.

Brandworkers International is a non-profit organization protecting and advancing the rights of retail and food employees.  The Brandworkers Focus on the Food Chain campaign promotes a sustainable food system which incorporates respect for workers' human rights.