Do you know this man?
This is Steve. If you are a former customer of Golden Farm or if you’ve spent time on the picket lines you’ll likely recognize him. Many people in the neighborhood mistake him for the owner of Golden Farm because as manager he’s far more visible than Sonny Kim, the owner.
It may come as a surprise to hear that he is in fact not the manager, just an ordinary employee with no special standing. At least that is what Sonny’s lawyers have been arguing in court for the last few days.
The worker’s have alleged that they have been systematically harassed and abused by Steve for their union organizing. That he has pushed them, shouted at them, called them faggot, fired them arbitrarily (to be rehired the next day), broken their property, removed work tables as they are working on them, and told new employees not to speak to them.
Sonny’s primary defense appears to be not to deny that Steve has done these things but to argue that this is the behavior of an unpleasant co-worker – not of a manager acting on behalf of the employer.
That Steve is not a manager would come as a surprise to Erin Durkin of the Daily News who interviewed him as the manager of Golden Farm back in 2012 http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/workers-neighbors-fighting-kensington-golden-farm-supermarket-wage-violations-article-1.1020005, it also would come as a surprise to Councillor Brad Lander and Senator Eric Adams who spoke with him at a rally in front of the store and received assurances from him about the payment of workers. http://youtu.be/EvoZZRZfCQ0
On Monday Sonny will testify and so may some of the cashiers. Based on their legal presentation so far it seems definite that a central part of their testimony will be to lie about Steve’s job description.
We want as many community witnesses present as possible, please join us.
Monday Feb 3, 10am 2 Metrotech Center, 5th Floor (bring photo id for security)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 347 4033798
The NLRB hearing on Golden Farm began today. It ran from 9am till 4pm and will reconvene tomorrow, hopefully the judge will rule by the end of court tomorrow but if not the case will continue on Monday next week.
There will be a report from today’s hearing at the Occupy Kensington meeting this evening – 8pm 309 E5th St – following the scheduled discussion on affordable housing.
The Golden Farm hearing at the NLRB has been postponed until Wednesday, January 29 at 9a.m.. The Board agent in charge of the case requested that some of the current workers in the store and union reps do affidavits in connection to the pending ULPs before the board.
The date has been set! An NLRB Judge will finally rule on the Unfair Labor Practice filed by the RWDSU last August for Mr Kim’s failure to negotiate in good faith.
The hearing is scheduled for 9am Wednesday January 15th at the NLRB, 2 Metrotech, 5th Floor, and is open to the public. A couple of members of Occupy Kensington are going to attend and we’ll post an update Wednesday after the judge rules.
There will be a picket at Golden Farm this Friday from 6 to 8 please join us to let Mr Kim know that even though the union rat has gone to Queens, his former customers in our community are still right here and still support the workers. It’s important to keep giving him this message because if the judge rules in favor of the union he is going send Mr Kim back to the bargaining table and continued economic pressure from the boycott may help tip him in favor of actually negotiating.
Back in August the RWDSU filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over Sonny Kim’s failure to negotiate in good faith. At the best of times the NLRB moves slowly, add in the 7 week government shutdown and progress has become glacial. However in December they did finally look at the complaint and concluded that it had a strong basis, so it is going to a court hearing, most likely in late January.
If the court rules in the union’s favor Sonny will have to return to the negotiating table and hopefully negotiate for real this time.
Trade Fair in Jackson Heights Queens fired all it’s workers with zero notice early December and the RWDSU has thrown it’s picketing resources behind the struggle of those workers. Check out the Daily News coverage of the story, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/ruiz-queens-supermarket-owner-cold-hearted-article-1.1546243.
The union continues to call on community supporters of the Golden farm workers to shop elsewhere until the workers get a fair contract.