Westport’s Matsu Sushi restaurant, which has been the subject of a labor dispute for the past few years, has closed – but its name may live on in a court case.
As previously reported, two chefs who claimed they were unfairly dismissed, were joined by state Sen. Will Haskell and others over the summer to protest their dismissal, which they said came after they refused to work a 36-hour shift. The pair also said they were out over $150,000 that they gave to co-owner Marty Cheng as an investment in the business, and alleged a systematic pattern of exploitation of workers.
The chefs, Liguo Ding and Jianming Jiang, were rehired in November and, as part of a settlement agreement, were due to receive $200,000.
However, last week Matsu Sushi began advertising that it was going out of business and would auction off its equipment. As the chefs have yet to receive their first payment, and owners Cheng and Michael Cao were ordered not to sell the restaurant until full compensation has been made, it appears likely that a return to court is in the future.
The announced auction has been canceled.