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by Via Max
Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2007 at 4:40 PM
After four years of litigation, heated community protests, and on-and-off-again settlement talks, Assi Super, Inc. owner Daniel Sung Chul Rhee and his former employees have agreed to settle the workers' class action lawsuit alleging unpaid overtime wages and racial discrimination and harassment for $1.475 million.
Their agreement just got a judge's preliminary approval by Judge Carolyn Kuhl at a hearing held on today Monday, April 23, at 9:30. This settlement will effectively close the chapter on the most contentious labor dispute Koreatown has seen in years.
The settlement provides that Assi will pay former workers $1.475 million, create an internal complaint system for workers, and conduct trainings for its managers on California' s wage and hour laws and how to stop employment discrimination. Assi Super is one of Koreatown's
largest community-owned businesses, employing over 100 workers.
As you recall, the class action lawsuit was filed after the
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance ( KIWA ) led Assi workers in a long campaign to improve working conditions at Assi Market, where many Korean American workers were not paid overtime and Latino workers were denied
rest breaks, yelled at and mistreated by management. A union election ended in an official "no result" in 2002. Later that year Daniel Rhee "indefinitely suspended" 56 workers, roughly half of Assi's workforce, in what many believe was retaliation for Assi employees asserting their
rights and preparing to file this lawsuit. The suspension of these workers resulted in a community-wide boycott and daily picket lines in front of the market that drew thousands of supporters over the course of the campaign.
Since the Court granted a preliminarily approval of the settlement, a press conference to discuss the settlement will take place in front of
Assi Market tomorrow Tuesday, April 24 at 11 am .
When the Court finally orders the checks distributed to workers, KIWA
has announced they will call for an end to their four-year consumer
boycott against Assi Market.
WHAT: Press Conference on the sidewalk in front of Assi
market to announce workers¡¯ class action
lawsuit settlement for $1.475 million against Assi Super, Inc., one
of Koreatown¡¯s largest supermarkets.
Address: 3525 W. 8th Street Los Angeles, CA 90005
WHEN: 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 24, 2007
WHO: Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA)
KIWA is a community-based non-profit group that organizes low-wage
immigrant workers to fight for dignity and respect in their workplaces
and in their communities.
Plaintiffs, Assi Workers, Law Offices of Traber and Voorhees (Class
Attorneys) (www.tvlegal.com) and community supporters.
Without your support, this victory would never have happened!
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