Workers win 1st step in case against Matsu Sushi
WESTPORT — The downtown sushi hub Matsu Sushi cannot sell the restaurant until it pays former workers for unpaid minimum and overtime wages, a court has ruled.
“Transferring the business and other assets has become a common tactic used by unscrupulous bosses to avoid court judgments,” the Flushing Workers Center wrote in a June 25 news release announcing the decision of Judge Stefan R. Underhill, a U.S. district judge for Connecticut.
Former Matsu Sushi employees Jianming Jiang and Liguo Ding, residents of Queens, N.Y., contacted the Flushing Workers Center in December, saying Matsu’s owners — Ziqiao Cao and Kim Ming Cheng — fired them for refusing to work a 36-hour shift. On March 29, the National Labor Relations Board issued Matsu an official complaint for firing the duo for refusing to work the shift, which Jiang and Ding said was to finish large lunch orders from Westport-based investment management firm Bridgewater Associates.
Along with two of their former Matsu co-workers, Jiang and Ding filed a lawsuit against the restaurant for failure to pay minimum and overtime wages. Underhill’s decision ensures Matsu’s owners can’t sell or transfer the restaurant to avoid paying the lost wages.
Jiang and Ding said they wish to return to Matsu, and in July the labor board will determine whether the restaurant will be forced to reinstate their employment, said James Bhandary-Alexander, an attorney with New Haven Legal Assistance, who is helping Ding and Jiang with the case.