Bklyn rats endorse boycott

A goldenfarmjustice.wordrpress.com exclusive!

A rat (pictured below) was spotted attempting to shop at Golden Farm earlier this week. When confronted by the picketers the rat was thoroughly confused as to why he could not buy produce at his favorite neighborhood spotty.

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The rat just wanted to buy some groceries.

“I’m shocked and chagrined! mortified and stupified!” stated the rat. “I’ve been shopping here nearly 15 years, at least since the nineties, and now this!”

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“I’m shocked and chagrined! Mortified and stupified!” says rat as Andres calms him down.

Luckily for Kensington residents, the ten foot rat was keen to listen to the picketers.

“It’s about workers rights, human and rat dignity,” explained NYCC organizer Kate Barut. “Sonny Kim stays refusing to negotiate, so this is why we boycott!”

Convinced, the rat decided that he would rather support a union shop, like the Foodtown around the corner on McDonald Ave. and Albermarle Rd.

Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim could not be reached for comment. A representative from Local 338, the workers’ collective bargaining agent, explained to the rat that:

That is why the community should be outraged by some of the things Mr. Kim or his representatives have done or said during negotiations.  Things like demanding that Mr. Kim be the one to dictate whom the union can use to represent the workers!  Saying, “I’ll decide who can speak to me about the employees and their issues!” Or not wanting employees to be paid for our national holidays unless they work for him on those days, too!  When he said, “Why should I pay someone for a day if he is not making ME money that day!”  Mr. Kim would not offer even small wage increases to the workers because he believes he could find workers to do it for less than minimum wage.  Saying, “I can find people who are so desperate they’d even work for less than the minimum wage!”

“What a rat!” said the rat. “That’s it! I’m done with Kim! I’m calling out all my little rats!”

Little rats indeed. They came out in numbers.

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All the rats (except Sonny) signed the petition and stayed to picket.

“I’ll be here every day,” said the ten-footer.

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“Every day, Sonny, every day.”

 

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To the polls!

New poll finds 71% of Kensington residents support justice.

29% support exploitation. Stay classy 29%, stay classy.

What stance are you taking in regards to Golden Farm?

The “good…”

  • No matter how good the store is, it won’t get my business until he gives workers what they deserve. I’m not part of the campaign, though. (45%)
  • Not only am I not shopping there–I’m involved or will be involved in picketing and spreading the word. (26%)

The “bad AND the ugly…” but at least I’m honest…

  • I’m with Mr. Kim on this one–if you don’t like your job, leave it. I’m shopping there. (18%)

The “I can’t admit I’m bad and ugly…”

  • I feel for the workers, but I love the store, too. I still shop there on occasion. (11%)

Speaking of polls, these guys may not be running for NYC Mayor, but we like them anyway. At the very least, they are willing to stand up for workers’ rights.

lander and kate

Councilman Brad Lander speaks at Golden Farm rally. Nice button!

adams golden farm

Senator Eric Adams and Occupy Kensington at Golden Farm rally!

Everyone deserves paid sick, vacation, and personal days as well as raises and job security.

To the polls!

How YOU can help

There are a bunch of volunteering opportunites out there – please try and help in whatever way you can.

Picketing:
We’ve set up an on-line chart where you can sign up and indicate when you can help. http://doodle.com/etgsq4rzu56icns2
For those who don’t want to use the doodle poll the picket schedule is:
Fri 16   3-5
Sat 17  12-2
Sun 18 12-2
Mon19 6-8
Tue 20  7-9
Wed 21 6-8
Thur 22 7-9
Fri 23     6-8
Dropping by on the spur of the moment is great but if you can let us know beforehand when you can help that’d be very useful because it allows us to plan better.

Chalk:
With reduced picket hours we need other ways to let shoppers know that the boycott is on. the best we’ve found so far is chalking the sidewalk around the store. As long as we stick to the outer part of the sidewalk (over five feet from the store) this is perfectly legal and it takes longer to wash off than it does to write on. We need some volunteers, (people who pass the store regualrly on their way to work would be ideal) who will take on to chalk the word BOYCOTT several times whenever they pass the store. If you can do this let us know – We can supply chalk and suggested slogans.

Posters:
We want to get boycott posters up in as many windows as possible in the neighborhood. If you can display a poster in your window you can pick one up from one of the scheduled pickets, or reply to this e-mail with your address and we can drop one off to you.
If you can get some of your neighbors to join you we’d be happy to drop off a bunch of posters for you to distribute on your block. Note to tenants: as long as the poster is INSIDE your apartment, ie on the inside of your window it is entirely your right to post it.
Occupy Kensington – occupykensington@yahoo.com or call Eleanor @ 347 4033798

Thanks to everyone who came to the rally today

Here’s a link to the News 12 coverage:

http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/protesters-call-for-new-workers-contract-at-golden-farms-grocery-store-on-church-avenue-1.5869264

We are working on a schedule for picket times this week. So far we have confirmed picket times for Sunday 2-4, Monday 7-9 and Wednesday 6-8. Please stop by and show your support.

Eleanor

Hot Off the Press!

Daily News coverage:

New boycott of Golden Farm grocery scheduled to protest low wages and poor benefits

Starting Saturday, Kensington activists and a workers’ rights group are re-launching a ban on Golden Farm grocery on Church Ave.

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WHAT: Rally / Press Conference to Restart Golden Farm Boycott

WHEN: Saturday, August 10, 2013, @ 2PM

WHO: Kensington residents, NYCC members, elected officials, clergy, NYC allies.

 

Occupy Kensington letter to Sonny Kim

Dear Mr Kim:

In March, the RWDSU Local 338 asked NYCC and its community supporters to suspend the boycott at Golden Farm. The argument given was that you refused to negotiate on core issues of the contract while the boycott was ongoing. If we, Occupy Kensington, agreed to support the suspension of the boycott, we were told that you would move forward in negotiations. At the time, we were deeply sceptical of this, but the union pressed NYCC, which, in turn, pressured us, the community supporters, to agree to support the suspension of the boycott in the hope that this was a genuine offer on your part. Ending the picket was easy to do. Getting that section of our community who had been actively boycotting your store for seven months (and in many cases longer) to return and shop there was much harder.

Many of your longstanding customers have been deeply shocked by your behavior over the last year. First, we learned of the miserable pay and working conditions to which you subjected your workers. Then, when community members tried to speak to you or Steve, they were treated extremely rudely. Steve has told many of us that it is “none of our business.” To which the obvious response is, “Then you shall have none of our business”.

NYCC may have initiated the boycott idea and the picket may have been the most visible part of it, but we can assure you that a large portion of your lost business in the last year did not result from picketing. Many people in the community simply don’t want to shop at Golden Farm anymore.
When the boycott was suspended, despite our reservations, we acted in good faith to try and encourage the community to return to the store.

It wasn’t easy, many people told us that they were committed not to return to shop in the store until your workers had a fair contract. Others said that, since they became aware of your behavior as an employer, they just didn’t feel comfortable going into your store anymore.

We, Occupy Kensington, encouraged people to return, telling them both that it would help the negotiations and that, if business picked up, you would restore the hours you had cut from the workers’ shifts. It appears we were wrong on both counts.

Last week, Occupy Kensington and NYCC inquired about the status of the contract negotiations between Local 338 and Golden Farm. Based upon the information we received regarding the negotiations, Occupy Kensington has reached the conclusion that it was a mistake to have supported suspending the boycott. NYCC will be re-launching the picket line, and we shall join them on it. Furthermore, Occupy Kensington shall tell all of our community supporters to return to boycotting.

Occupy Kensington will not call off this boycott until the workers have a fair contract, regardless of the actions of Local 338 or NYCC.
We believe it is your hope that you can drag out the negotiating process and ultimately decertify the Union. You may think that you will have won a victory if you do so, but, in fact, you will have permanently lost a substantial portion of what used to be your customer base.

Yours,

Occupy Kensington

(posted by Eleanor)