Five hundred and fifty gourmet grocery workers will receive nearly $1.5 million in unpaid wages, thanks to the efforts of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500.
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In 2008, several workers at Amish Markets and related stores Zeytinia, Zeytinz, and Zeytuna approached UFCW Local 1500 because they wanted to form a union at their stores.
The UFCW soon discovered that many workers were not being paid proper overtime and brought the violations to the attention of the New York State Department of Labor. The
Bruce W. Both, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 said, "The New York State Department of Labor and the workers from Amish Markets, a gourmet grocery store serving high-end food products, deserve the gratitude of every taxpayer in the city because they had the courage to stand up and say: ‘This is wrong!’"
State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said of Amish Markets, "This employer was caught red-handed with his hand in the gourmet cooking jar."
Local 1500 and the Building Blocks Project play a leading role in bringing good food, good jobs, and good health to New York’s neighborhoods by promoting and establishing policies that preserve existing supermarkets, develop new supermarkets and ensure the ability of grocery workers to form unions.