Hunts Point Market Workers Vote to Authorize Strike
Teamsters at NYC’s produce distribution hub could walk as soon as Wednesday over low wage offer
Warehouse workers, drivers, and other members of Teamsters Local 202 at Hunts Point Produce Market voted unanimously on Saturday to reject management’s contract offer and authorize a strike. The market provides most of the fruit and vegetables sold and served at restaurants and stores in the New York City region.
“These are the working families that make up the Bronx, and they need more than a 30 cent raise,” said Dan Kane, Jr., President of Teamsters Local 202. “The companies are thriving and the owners are doing well for themselves. The owners can do right by their employees and prevent a strike by giving these workers a fair contract.”
The current contract, covering the 1100 Teamsters, expires at the end of the day on Tuesday. A strike could begin as soon as Wednesday.
“Everyone’s rent is going up. We have bills to pay and families to support,” said Francisco Flores, a father of three who has worked at the market for 24 years. “We can’t afford to stay in New York on the low wage management is offering.”
The market is on city-owned property, and the City is investing $150 million to support its facilities.
“We voted unanimously to authorize a strike and we are serious,” said Reynaldo Ortiz, a warehouse worker with 20 years of service at Hunts Point Produce Market. “We are willing to strike until we get a fair contract, and I hope that New Yorkers stand behind us.”
Negotiations have been ongoing since November. The Teamsters have not gone on strike at Hunts Point in three decades.
“The workers who feed New York need to be able to feed their families too,” said Kane.