NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty former food manufacturing employees who complained about working conditions have reached a $577,000 settlement with a Brooklyn kosher food manufacturer after engaging in a five-year campaign that led more than 120 supermarkets to stop selling the company's products.
Flaum Appetizing Corp. and the workers reached a settlement on Sunday, according to the ex-employees' lawyer, Stuart Lichten. After the deal was reached, both sides submitted a letter to a federal judge seeking dismissal of the lawsuit brought by the workers in 2007.
Flaum's lawyer did not immediately return a phone call for comment. The company's products include hummus, kosher pickles and herring.
Most of the workers are Mexican immigrants.
"The workers fought for a lot of years to get what they thought they were owed, justice and fairness. They're very satisfied now," Lichten said.
Daniel Gross, executive director of Brandworkers, a Queens-based nonprofit organization that advocated for them, said the workers will not be returning to the company.
"They decided they are happy to have moved on," he said. "The workers were able to persuade over 120 grocery store locations to stop selling hummus and other products until workers' rights were protected."
The stores included Food Emporium, Zabar's and Morton Williams.
Gross said each of the workers are likely to receive payouts of between $7,000 and $50,000, depending on how long they worked for the company and how much money they lost as a result of unpaid overtime and other labor rules that weren't followed.
He said one worker had been there 13 years.