UPDATE: Negotiations Continue

Negotiations continue and that is good news. Since the boycott ended Golden Farm workers report that the owner of Golden Farm and representatives from Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW have sat down to negotiate 3 times and a fourth negotiation will take place this Thurday, June 6.

Workers, community, and NYCC staff are anxiously waiting to hear from the workers that Thursday will be the day that the workers can proclaim victory.

In the meantime we would like to invite the entire community to the following event:

LAWCHA National Conference, New York City, June 6-8, 2013

This will be a tremendous opportunity for workers, community members, and allies to speak about the the workers/community/labor alliance as exemplified by the Golden Farm campaign. 

The following is a brief description about the conference:

 

Meeting in a year in which surging corporate power has threatened both unions and democracy as we know it, the 2013 LAWCHA conference in New York City focuses on how varied groups of working people have built the solidarity needed to challenge their employers, each other, their communities, and the state to seek justice and improve their lives. Historically and today women, immigrants and people of color have often been at the forefront of these struggles. Many have seen the revitalization of their organizations—unions, cooperatives, mutual aid societies, and political movements—as critical to their struggles for equality and democracy in and beyond the workplace. In the present moment, faced with obstacles to organizing that evoke earlier centuries, workers and their allies are creating innovative organizational forms and strategies in the U.S. and around the world.

When: June 6-8, 2013

To see the full program click here. 

Session 6
Friday, June 7, 3:30 – 5:15pm
6.1 Big Ideas: Re-imagining Labor History
6.2 Rights and Opportunities: Workers, Employers, and the
Politics of Ideas
6.3 100 Years in the Making: Rethinking and Remembering
the 1913 IWW’s Portland Cannery Strike, 1913-1914
Michigan Copper Country Strike, and Italian Hall
Tragedy
6.4 Following the Women: Working Women, the Labor
Movement, and Economic Justice
6.5 Occupy Kensington: Community Support for Golden Farm
Grocery Workers
6.6 Intimacy, Invisibility, and Class Conflict in Service
Workplaces across the Twentieth Century
6.7 Domestic Workers’ Organizing in the Americas: the
Struggle for Justice beyond Borders
6.8 Corruption, Organized Crime and the Labor Movement in
the Mid-Twentieth Century U.S.
6.9 The Many Battles of Blair Mountain
6.10 Progressive Intellectuals and Labor’s Internal
Controversies: Lessons of LAWCHA Member Solidarity
and Engagement
6.11 Sex Work and the State: Reg

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE!

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.

Image

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