Why Continue to Boycott Golden Farm?

Because we are so close! Workers have shared that negotiations between Sonny Kim and RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 went well on Monday, January 28. A third and what everyone hopes will be the last negotiation date has been set for February 12. We are closer now than ever!

On the picket line we hear some people increasingly voicing frustration with the length of the boycott. That this has taken entirely too long. Labor struggles are never quick and easy. That the boycott is really just turning into an inconvenience. Personal convenience is not an excuse to support employer abuse. That the workers are nowhere to be seen. Check out the countless online material of worker images, words, interviews and video sharing their experiences, thoughts and goals. That the boycott is just not working. Owner Sonny Kim sued for $3 million dollars in losses and has met twice with the union to negotiate.

Of course, our frustration and exhaustion pales in comparison to what the workers are feeling. Yet they remain strong and want to continue to fight and we will stand by them. Victories have been hard to come by but the workers have been successful!

1. In 2008 workers successfully organized to contact the NY Department of Labor to protest their work conditions.

2. In March 2011, after many years of being underpaid, workers were successful in forcing owner Sonny Kim to comply with NY state minimum wage and overtime law.

3. After successfully organizing to fight for their back pay, the law firm Advocates for Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of 13 workers in June of 2011.

4. In May 2012 the majority of the workers successfully voted to unionize and elected Local 338 (RWDSU/UFCW) as their collective bargaining agent.

5. On August 18, 2012 workers successfully mobilized the Kensington community to boycott Golden Farm.

6. After a year and half since the lawsuit for back pay was filed workers were successful in reaching a settlement.

And now, after just two negotiations between the union and Sonny Kim, workers believe that they are closer than ever to their final victory.

The boycott will not end until the workers call upon the community to do so. The workers will not do so until their demands have been met:

1. Contract (including paid sick days and a raise above the current minimum wage)

2. Reinstatement of hours

3. Reinstatement of workers

4. Compensation for hour cuts

Too much has happened to give up now. Too much stress, exhaustion, humiliation, and frustration. Too many losses. Too many tears. Too much of our selves has been poured into this little green grocery store.

We owe it to Felix and his widow and children. We owe it to the workers. We owe it to our selves.

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Golden Farm worker Martin on the picket line!

Viva la justa lucha de los trabajadores de Golden Farm…viva

Viva la solidaridad efectiva y en la práctica con los trabajadores de Golden Farm.

Vivan las justas luchas del pueblo…viva

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How Much Don’t You Spend at Golden Farm?

Let’s do the math! How much money is Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim losing in business by prolonging negotiations with the workers? Fill out this form! Courtesy of our friends at 99Pickets and Occupy Kensington! Check out the following post from KARMABrooklyn Blog:

HOW MUCH DON’T YOU SPEND AT GOLDEN FARM?

_________________________________________________
 
Dear Sonny Kim:
 
I support workers at Golden Farm.
 
Before the boycott, I spent about $______ per week at
the store.
 
When you sign a fair contract with the workers I will come
back to shop at Golden Farm.
 
Sincerely,
 
Name: __________________________________
 
99 Pickets & Occupy Kensington // 99pickets.org
_________________________________________________
 
 
If you’re boycotting Golden Farm, let Sonny Kim, the owner, know how much money you no longer spend there each week. And that you’ll be back in the store, cash (or plastic) in hand, after he negotiates a fair union contract.

The boycott, requested by Golden Farm employees, has caused a 50% drop in sales on peak days. Boycotters want the owner to

  • sign a fair union contract with the employees and include paid sick days,
  • restore employees’ work hours that the owner cut illegally in retaliation for employees organizing, and
  • reinstate employees who were fired in retaliation for organizing.

To help, just fill out a paper card like the one shown above (get it from a picketer) or an online form.

A neighborhood delegation will deliver the cards to Mr. Kim.
 
This “pledge drive” is brought to you by 99 Pickets and Occupy Kensington.
 
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Why is Marcos standing on the ladder?

 

Deconstructing Sonny

Open Letter to Golden Farm Owner Sonny Kim:

sonny

Sonny in action at his store

Dear Sonny,

If you were to put the same amount of time into thinking this boycott situation through as you put into deciding which shade of orange to dye your hair we would all be better off: The workers would have a contract; you would have your customers back; we could stop traveling all the way to Foodtown to shop in this freezing weather; and you would look less ridiculous.

Everyone’s a winner!

Yet you refuse to sign the contract. Thus this open letter you Mr. Kim.

You have spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting your employees. You hired a law firm to represent you in the wage and hour lawsuit. You hired a union-busting consultant and a translator to talk to your workers every day for TWO months before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election on May 2, 2012. You hired another law firm to represent you before the NLRB. Who are we to judge how others spend their hard earned money, but c’mon now, seriously.

If you are going to spend your money on attorneys why hire the guys that pride themselves in representing socialites in socialite melees:

Oved & Oved LLP Represents Lounge Owner
Jeffrey Jah and The Double Seven in Socialite Melee VIEW NYPOST PAGE SIX ARTICLE

Also, why on earth did you open the Wisconsin yellow-pages to find more attorneys. At least you don’t have to pay the NYC guys to fly in every time!

After  fighting the lawsuit (in case you don’t remember you found out about it in March 2011 when you read the Crain’s New York article) you agreed to a settlement after  a year and a half.

After investing in the union-busting consultant and his interpreter the majority of the workers still voted in favor of RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 as their collective bargaining agent. We don’t know how much those consultants charge but it couldn’t have been cheap since they spent two entire months talking to your workers every day trying to convince them not to vote in favor of the union. Did you at least get a discount when you lost the election?

You challenged the results of the election (in case your forgot how ridiculous your actions were, allow us to remind you that tried to include the votes of your wife, Steve the manager, Jose the manager, and a driver that is paid by someone else to deliver to you) and you STILL lost.

You  somehow managed to convince yourself to allege that workers were bought to organize against you forgetting perhaps the fact that they organized because you were paying them less than five dollars an hour;  never gave them paid sick day and because Felix passed away because he kept coming to work sick and did not get a chance to seek treatment sooner. You then challenged the ruling the NLRB against you and you lost, again.

Did you think you actually had a chance?

The only winners so far seem to be your attorneys that charge you by the hour.

And now you have to negotiate in good faith because the NLRB certified the election results on September 20, 2012.

All the while Steve (your own manager) has proven to be the best organizer ever against you inside your store. Did you interview this man before you hired him? Or at least check his references? Do you know that he pours bleach on people?

Even though you know that you are losing customers you would rather waste your money suing rather than settling. You would rather cut your workers’ hours rather than negotiating. You would rather have picketers arrested rather than have them as shoppers.

Did you know that the owner’s of three other stores similar to yours (2512 Linden Boulevard; 3008 Church Avenue and 9530 Church Avenue) chose to negotiate and make peace and currently do not have a picket line outside their store nor their homes? That no one chalks their sidewalks?

The community will continue to honor the boycott until the workers tell us that their following demands have been met:

1. Contract (including paid sick days and a raise above the current minimum wage)

2. Reinstatement of hours

3. Reinstatement of workers

4. Compensation for hour cuts

Workers tell us that on January 28 you will again sit down to talk to the union. We will not support a small business that does not treat its employees fairly. We will continue to shop at Foodtown (a union shop!) while we wait for you to come to your senses.

Sincerely,

The people

p.s. Do you want to be on the New York Times and continue your reign as NYC’s most notorious supermarket owner?

Mad chalker strikes again!

Mad chalker strikes again!

Boycott Pandemic

Nearly 50 people with the boycott rally bug came out today to brave the sunny, mid-40 degrees, balmy January weather. More than 20 did so as well yesterday!

For those of you keeping store at home there have been rallies outside of Golden Farm in 2011, 2012 and now in 2013…

Yesterday the Green Party crashed the Golden Farm sidewalk in solidarity with the Golden Farm workers:

And today allies left and left came out in full support and sang to Sonny Kim!

Struggles bring allies together and broad coalitions bring about change. Meet some of the members of the Golden Farm Justice Coalition:

The Hot and Crusty workers:

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(on left with sign) Mahoma Lopez, Hot and Crusty worker and activist: “Unionize Low Wage Workers, We Did It!”

99 Pickets brought people together:

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Sundrop wearing the 99Pickets banner with pride

The Internationalist Group:

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Charlie from the Internationalist Group speaks

Socialist Alternative was there as well:

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Pete from Socialist Alternative takes the mike

OccuEvolve, always representing:

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Malu from OccuEvolve!

And of course, Occupy Kensington:

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Gibb from Occupy Kensington

New York Communities for Change was also there.

Occupy Staten Island, Occupy Sunset Park and if we forgot to mention anyone our apologies!

Most important of all, Kensington residents of all types were present supporting the workers. The message to Sonny was loud and clear:

Sonny Kim! No contract, no peace!

Kensington has got a fever and the only prescription is more boycott! (never gets old)

MLK, Memphis and Golden Farm

99Pickets organizing:

Fight for a Fair Contract at Golden Farm

“Sunday. 1/20, 2pm
Fight for a Fair Contract at Golden Farm

Where: Golden Farm, 329 Church Ave, Brooklyn NY 11218

After over a decade of getting paid well below minimum wage – totaling over $500,000 in stolen wages – Golden Farm workers stood up for their rights, suing owner Sonny Kim for their back wages and voting to form a union.

In September, workers achieved a partial victory when Sonny Kim was ordered by the court to pay the workers a portion of the wages he stole. Now Golden Farm workers are demanding that Sonny Kim negotiate a fair contract to prevent further abuses, reinstate illegally fired workers and restore the hours he cut to retaliate against workers that stood up for each other.

Join 99 Pickets and the Occupy Wall Street community to support Golden Farm workers in the final leg of their fight for justice.”

To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., watch the following clip as he speaks to Memphis sanitation workers in 1968:

“You are demanding that this city will respect the dignity of labor; so often we overlook the worth and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so called big jobs, but let me say to you tonight that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity it has dignity and it has worth…you are reminding not only Memphis but you are reminding the nation that it is crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Flyer distributed to sanitation workers in Memphis:

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“The only force we will use is soul-force which is peaceful, loving, courageous, yet militant.”

Boycott Goes to Jersey!

This is what happens when you get two boycotters arrested Sonny Kim. Earlier this morning Golden Farm boycott supporters braved the cold and crossed the Hudson River to the land of New Jersey. Fort Lee, NJ to be exact. Among the protesters were Marty and Andres.

Why? To visit Sonny Kim and his wife Sharon Kim at their residence in their fortified luxury condo in NJ. The units sell for a cool $600,000 if you are looking to move to Jersey. If you can’t join us at our picket lines outside the Kims’ building, let them know how you feel by mailing a  a letter directly to the following address:

Sonny and Sharon Kim

1512 Palisade Avenue, Apt. 19A

Fort Lee, NJ  07024

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Boycott in Fort Lee, NJ! (Sonny did not take this picture)

Of course, this isn’t the only property the Kims own. They recently sold a $1.1 million home in Bergen Count, NJ.

So how do the Kims afford a $1.1 million dollar home and a $600,000 dollar condo? It might have to do with the fact that for many years they paid their workers $4.86 per hour and currently give them zero paid days off (no vacation, personal, or sick days, let alone holidays – the store NEVER closes).

Sonny: We look forward to meeting your neighbors! Already 58 of them received a flyer in their hand this morning!

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Sonny and Sharon Kim talking to a cop.

Paid sick days for all! Living wages NOW! Fort Lee or bust.

Boycott Live on TV

From the streets to the studios! Today NYC, tomorrow the world.

Tune in TODAY, Friday, January 4 from 6p.m. to 7p.m. to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and catch the latest boycott news!

Lydia Radin, the host of the TV show “Crookeddoctors” on MNN walked by the boycott and invited supporters to talk about the Golden Farm campaign on her show. The show will be broadcasted throughout all NYC and will give a broader audience an opportunity to hear about how the Golden Farm workers are fighting for dignity and respect on the job and speaking up for low wage workers everywhere. Callers to the show are welcome! Call to ask a question and to voice your support!

Please see the following to find your channel depending on your cable provider:

Brooklyn: 

Time Warner Cable: Channel 56

Cablevision: Channel 69

Verizon/FiOs: Channel 44

RCN: Channel 84

 

Manhattan:

Time Warner Cable: Channel 34

Verizon/FiOs: Channel 33

RCN: Channel 82

Show will also be streamed live at  mnn.org; click on WATCH NOW.

Don’t forget to call in to the show LIVE with your comments and questions: 212 – 245 – 7273.

Paid Sick Days for all now! Living Wages for all now!

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Boycott on fire!