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Brooklyn supermarket employees awarded $300,000 and union contract in wage dispute

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Thirty employees of a Brooklyn, N.Y., grocery store have won a lawsuit they filed over unpaid wages and overtime and were also granted a union contract to protect them from further abuse.

According to a New York Daily News report this week, the employees at Master Food in Brooklyn worked upwards of 70 hours a week, averaging just $3.93 per hour for years, but did not complain because they felt “they didn’t know where to go.”

Earlier this year, the employees organized and filed a lawsuit against their employer, seeking compensation for lost wages, and in the end were also awarded a union contract. The employees were awarded $300,000 in lost wages and have contracted with RWDSU/UFCW Local 338. The union contract guarantees the employees of the grocery store in the future at least a minimum wage pay rate, regular raises, overtime pay, paid vacations and paid sick days.

In the Daily News report, several employees represented by the lawsuit said they worked at Master Food for years, working six or seven days a week, for very little money. One fruit and vegetable washer said he worked 72 hours a week for less than $400.

Several Brooklyn supermarkets have been the focus of similar lawsuits, the source indicates. This is the first deal struck which also offered a union contract. An advocacy group said, often times, a store owner will pay off the lawsuit against the suing employees and then hire a new group of workers and subject them to the same conditions. disclaimer: This article: Brooklyn supermarket employees awarded $300,000 and union contract in wage dispute was posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 6:12 pm at and is filed under Employment Lawsuits.

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