Open Letter to Golden Farm Owner Sonny Kim:
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:
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.
p.s. Do you want to be on the New York Times and continue your reign as NYC’s most notorious supermarket owner?