I call Robert Thursday afternoon.
Robert: “That lunatic that emailed you, Joel, he was probably my boss using my pen name because that’s the way my boss used to talk to me all the time when I had problems.
“I like the way you wrote on the bottom that they [the Orthodox Union and the Montefiore Hospital] never replied to you. They don’t care.
“I filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations board against the hospital for dismissing me and against the Hospital Worker’s Union for not assisting me in preventing my termination. Those are federal charges.”
Luke: “So what did you think of The Jewish Week article?”
Robert: “It was OK. It was pretty good. The guy called me up and I gave him my story over the phone. The Orthodox Union‘s Rabbi Yaakov Luban, when I met him about 18 months ago, he came to the hospital when I went over the other rabbi’s head [Barry Kwiatkovsky], said he wasn’t going to help me with my disciplinary write-ups from the hospital. The OU doesn’t care what goes on. It’s about money. If they were to lift their hashgacha [kosher supervision], it would be an embarrassment to them.
“The guy they sent in to investigate was their paid man. They claimed he was independent. Of course he was going to find that there were no problems. He works for them. It wasn’t like he worked for another kashrut agency.
“I have no health insurance. Now I’ve got to wait for Medicaid. It could take me two months. If my wife and I get sick, we’re stuck.
“The last time I had to go to the hospital when I didn’t have any health insurance, I got a bill for $15,000.
“We have food stamps and that’s it.
“My wife takes high-blood pressure pills. Now she can’t afford them. If she runs out of her supply, who knows what will happen?”
Luke: “What kind of reactions are you getting?”
Robert: “I’m having a lot of people call up and say, ‘Wow, I’m proud of you for what you did. We’re afraid of these people. Other mashgiachs in other restaurants are afraid of them.'”
Luke: “Afraid of who?”
Robert: “Other mashgiachs are afraid of their employers. They’re afraid to speak up…
“Employers would rather get rid of a mashgiach who’s causing trouble and bring in another guy who will cooperate.”