Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Meat Workers Strike at Foodtown

We have gotten a few emails in regards to the meat workers strike at Foodtown. We have not spoken to the owners nor the workers but here is excerpts from a few emails.

The meat packers at Foodtown have been working for a month without a contract. The owners have hired non-union temp employees to replace them. So if you're concerned about amenities at FT, you should also be concerned about the working conditions of the people that bring you those amenities. I went over and talked to the strikers yesterday morning and they were really happy to get support. Being on strike is hard, one woman is pregnant, another I talked to has been working as a meat packer for 38 years and retires in one year but is still on strike. They are asking for decent health care and maintenance of benefits.

I usually shop at Foodtown every single day. This week, however, I refuse to cross a picket line. From their side, the owners are behaving unfairly, and even locked them out when they tried to return to work. I know there are two sides to every story, so I'd be interested in hearing what the owners have to say.

There are 5 people from the Meat Department Union that are on strike. The other people on the strike line do not work for Foodtown. The attached document is the flyer that we are handing out to our shoppers that explains some of the big issues (see below). As you know, we are a family run business and are very thankfull of the hard work of all our associates. We are working hard to resolve this and negotiations have been ongoing forthe last week, even right now, as we speak.
From the attachement:
THE UNION has refused to bargain with the company for all stores. For the last 6 months, and many meetings, the union would only talk about 2 stores that we have in The Bronx.
In fact, we have put forward to the union, a fair proposal. Once agreed to, it includes:
• Wage increases and fully paid health insurance.
• A 401 K retirement plan that the union has agreed to with other employers.
One main issue has been that the Union Pension funds are short over $ 600 MILLION dollars in total, and the union wants the company to pay over $ 3 MILLION to make up the difference,
even though we had no involvement in the management of the funds.
We will continue to work hard towards reaching a fair contract for our workers.

More coverage on FT Meat packers on strike in Bay Ridge: Foodtown Meat Department on Strike