Batali Sucker Punched by Protesters

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Drama luvs Molto.

Mario Batali showed up at Barnes & Noble Union Square last night to promote his latest book and was, to his unpleasant surprise, greeted by a small group of demonstrators who were handing out leaflets accusing him of dragging his orange Crocs in settling a federal lawsuit that was filed last year in Federal Court by 27 of his employees. The suit, which has been discussed ad nauseum, charges him with skimming tips, wage "misappropration," abuse, and retaliation for organizing. “He's trying to squeeze us,” said Jeffrey Mansfield, an organizer for the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York. Batali, however, told Grub that the protesting workers were “trying to embarrass us into settling earlier and getting this out of the way in a hurry. But we’re going by the law.” And the beat goes on.