Open Thread Wednesday 10/29/08

BHB Photo Club pic by matt de brooklyn

BHB Photo Club pic by matt de brooklyn

What’s on your mind? Comment away!  P.S. more Howl-o-ween pics at the BHB Photo Club!

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  • Mike Schultz

    Packergrad –

    Agreed there are 2 sides to a story…and as far as I can tell the owners aren’t talking (at least not to me).

    I can also say that I have never had anything but nice exchanges with Ivan who is one of the owners, but it seems that Rico his brother-in-law is orchestrator of this and Ivan is caught in the middle….

    What I can tell you for certain is that I know Mohammad and to accuse him of sexual harassment is so shameful and out of bounds

    Here is how I see it –

    No matter who one is and especially if one is the owner to falsely accuse an employee just to get rid of any employee including a disgruntled employee is not within the norms of running a business.

    I don’t think one has to leave their rights at the door to work in any establishment. I don’t when I go to work nor do I ask my employees to…

    And for the record, Packergrad, before I posted my comment I did confirm that Rico and his wife accussed Mohammod of sexual harrassment and that there was indeed a meeting between the union, Mohammad and the ownership (Ivan represented Rico and his wife – who were not present due to their own choosing)

    And I did confirm their is a back wage and pension dispute related to the unionization of key food staff back in the early 1990s (and their is a pending legal claim by Mohammad and others against the company)

    Again I have not heard the owners side of the story but I would welcome them to share it either on this blog or they can contact me directly (Ivan knows who I am)

    And how would I feel if someone picketed in front of my business or boycotted – probably not to good…. but it would also make me question to myself what have I done to lose the confidence of my patrons/neighbors

    You are entitled to your opinion and I am mine – that is what blogs are for – sharing of opinions – I never claimed to be the news and can only hope that a news outlet picks this up and does some investigating/reporting…..

    And lastly Packergrad I would say we as a society are too dispassionate in general and I am glad to see people are emotional about this and other things – we need people to get more involved about all things and care about one another…piping down never got anyone anywhere – people need to let their voices be heard –

  • jw

    And for those interested in court cases here are some links I found on google showing cases being brought against the key food on montague street

    Mohammad’s case (I believe – can’t see details as it is a subscribed site)

    Another case involving delivery workers/baggers not getting paid minimum wage (not sure where this stands was decided by the courts but details the claim)

  • Teddy

    A young woman I spoke with recently told me that she felt threatened by some teens on Clinton Street, near Remsen. Someone in the group screamed “you have a iPod?” I asked her if she held it in her hand when the person said it and she said yes. Luckily for her, they decided to walk away, toward Court St. after a couple of men approached. Her iPod was a new 16GB Touch model, $300.

  • Just a Neighbor

    Coming back to KD’s point which I feel is quite important, I am worried for my safety as well in the evenings. I used to feel totally comfortable walking all over the neighborhood and I don’t now – I feel like a target. Is there anyone on this board that can speak to what the local police are doing to heighten their patrol?

  • Brooklynborn

    I have the suspicion that Packergrad is not a resident of Brooklyn Heights, but is Keyfood ownership. Otherwise, Packergrad you are not well informed. Yes, there are multiple sides to every story as Mike Schultz has said. What I know is that Mohammed has dedicated himself to Key Food and has done so for almost two decades and you can see that he genuinely enjoys his job, helping the customers. But he has been taken advantage of for many years. Mohammed is a charming and nice manager, but you forgot to add hardworking and dedicated . . .far from disgruntled. As a customer, I have the right to choose where to shop and as a person I have the right to point out injustice. Boycotting and protesting Key Food is in the best interests of the employees. Key Food’s owners have refused to tell their side of their story when I inquired about the treatment of their employees so the only conclusion I have is that they clearly has a reason to hide.

  • Suspicious

    Brooklynborn: I’m also suspicious of Packergrad. I know for a fact that one of the owners family members attended (and I’m assuming graduated) Packer.

  • Homer Fink

    We are investigating this story. In the meantime, I suggest everyone reacquaint themselves with our Terms of Service:


  • mopostal

    I was walking back from DUMBO through Cadman Plaza on Sunday night sending an email from my phone when a kid spotted me, started following me, then hid behind the stairs in the low-rise Whitman apartments near the A/C. I crossed Henry St and looked back to see him skulking around one of stairs where I would be had I not crossed the street.

    Pretty freaking ridiculous considering this was 7PM on a Sunday.

  • Teddy

    Be careful tonight, I know someone who was mugged in the Heights on Halloween by some teens. Sh was coming home from a party in Manhattan at around 11PM. If possible, go out tonight with someone or even better go out in a group.

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Bonnie Burke

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your comments regarding the Key Food situation. I also felt suspicion that Packer Grad was really one of the Key Food owners.

    Ana, a wonderful nighttime checker there for 9 years told me she was being harrassed and mistreated. She’s the one that I hear lost 3 years of her pension. She recently quit and those who would know said this was why. One thing I know they did was arbitrarily change her schedule despite her seniority.

    Three reporters have contacted me with the intention of looking at the facts of the case. I feel all will get sorted out and it will be proved that the allegations are accurate.

    I keep thinking of that quote to the effect that all that’s necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

    I spoke to Mohammed last night (Thursday) and he was amazed and very gratified that so many people care. He asked me to please be careful not to make it sound that he or any other employees were directing this community response — which they absolutely have NOT. I have had to really pursue the facts of this case to find out what was happening to these folks.

  • bhmom

    Does anyone know why you have to scroll so far down to start seeing the Open Thread posts?

  • Diane

    Hello – I am freelance reporter writing a story about this issue, and I would like to know what the Key Food owner’s last name is. Also, does anyone have more background information to send along? I downloaded the lawsuit, but if there are any previous news stories or other court documents, that would be very helpful. Thanks!

  • wallard
  • Brooklynborn

    I hear that the owners are the Arguello and Palazio families. You might want to try talking to Mohammed; he may be open to discussing the details. I think he is in the store evenings (around 10/10:30 pm). You may also want to talk to the owners.

  • http://BrooklynHeightsBlog Bonnie Burke

    I understand Ana, the wonderful former checker of 9 or so years (who has lost 3 years of her pension), has learned of the overwhelming community support for them and is very happy about it.

    To the employees of Key Food: We will not desert you! You can count on us.