Back in April, Crain's reported that Mario Batali had been negotiating quietly with the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York in order to avoid a possible labor action. ROC never explained its beef with Batali and Bastianich, but according to The Wall Street Journal, the organization today helped 27 current and former Del Posto workers file suit in federal court. Their allegation that management took 8 to 9 percent of its nightly wine sales out of the tip pool is similar to one made by a couple of Batali workers who filed a lawsuit back in July (the Journal says that lawsuit has now grown to twenty plaintiffs across nearly half a dozen restaurants). They also allege that they were paid a flat fee for private events, rather than receiving the 23 percent service charge. Joe Bastianich, who called the earlier lawsuit bullshit, seems to be keeping quiet this time around.
Workers Sue Mario Batali Over Wages [Metropolis/WSJ]