Workers at New York’s largest supplier of fruit and vegetables claim they are ready to go on strike for the first time in nearly 35 years over a pay dispute. Members of Teamsters Local 202, which represents the workers at the sprawling Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market in the Bronx, said they will cast ballots Saturday on a strike resolution after a likely vote to reject the company’s latest offer.
Union President Daniel Kane explains that the issue concerns the union’s request for a $1-an-hour pay raise and a 60-cent-an hour boost to fund their health care benefits at the same level. The market, which represents 30 produce merchants, has countered with an offer of 32, 34 and 36 cents an hour over the next three years after what the company has described as a devastating time for business.
According to Kane, the larger raise was the least the market could do for drivers and loading dock workers who have braved the pandemic to get carrots and cucumbers delivered all over New York. Their contract ends Saturday at 11:59 p.m.
News.yahoo.com explains that not since 1986 have workers at the market gone on strike. About 1,400 workers count on the market for their livelihood, earning between $30,000 and $40,000 a year, Kane said.