St. Patrick Boycotts!

If you hang around the picket line at Golden Farm long enough you’ll see and hear most anything…St. Patrick and his snakes showed up in Kensington today! Too bad he can’t drive Sonny, Sharon and Steve away from Golden Farm. You’re lucky St. Pat can’t go within five feet of your store Sonny! What? You don’t believe St. Patty was here today? Here’s proof!

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Golden Charm!

For more pictures from today’s picket line check out Gerald Levy’s pics.

Ruben was also there and took the time to explain why he supports the boycott:

 

The boycott of the store started on August 18. Today marks the 7th month monthiversary of the Golden Farm boycott. When will the boycott end? When Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim signs a contract that guarantees the workers the most basic benefits that all workers deserve: paid sick days, paid vacation, personal days, raises,and job security. Is that too much to ask?

So long as the workers who organized to file a lawsuit to recover stolen wages and unionize for respect and dignity remain in the store and ask the community for their support in their struggle we will remain firm outside of Golden Farm. Besides, if we made it through the last three months, picketing in the spring will be a piece of cake!

Why should we continue to boycott?

1. The workers want our support.

2. It is the right thing to do.

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

4. To kinda quote George W. Bush, you are either with the workers who are fighting for justice, dignity and respect OR you are with the boss that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his employees and watched while one of his employees passed away because he did not have paid sick days. Which side are you on?

5. The wages and conditions of immigrant workers are the floor of our economy. Either our wages and conditions are going to go down to their level, or we are going to figure out ways to help low wage immigrant workers raise their wages and conditions up to our levels. [from “No one is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S – Mexico Border” pg. 119]

6. The boycott is effective, otherwise Sonny wouldn’t have sued for $3 million in losses and sat down to negotiate four times; and because neighbors are boycotting!

7. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

8. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

9. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

10. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

11. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

12. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

13. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

14. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

15. We refuse to lose and give Sonny the satisfaction of breaking the workers and our will.

WE REFUSE TO LOSE!!!!!

Contract now for the workers! Justice for Felix Trinidad!

Deconstructing Sonny

Open Letter to Golden Farm Owner Sonny Kim:

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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.”

Santa in Kensington! (Grinch sighting also)

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Santa says boycott!

Thank you Kensington! Since we made public the toy drive for the children of the Golden Farm workers the response from our neighbors has been overwhelming. We have already published a picture of the very first toys donated. Check out this new picture! The bags are full of toys and most are brand new. Keep them coming! Happy holidays!

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Bags full of gifts! Thank you!

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Steve Kim is the Grinch. This is what happens when you pour bleach on Kate’s jeans Steve!

All we want for this holiday season (besides more gifts for the children) is a contract for the Golden Farm workers.

Cheers!

 

Meet Javier!

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Meet Javier. He works at Golden Farm in the dairy department and is the father of three beautiful daughters. His salary at Golden Farm supports his family.

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So when Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim retaliated by slashing 12 overtime hours on August 17, 2012 from Javier’s work week to punish Javier and his coworkers for organizing to have a contract with basic benefits, Sonny not only succeeded in squeezing his workers but also entire families. Sonny knows which of his workers have children and are more likely to suffer with retaliatory hour cuts. Javier, however, hasn’t let this stop him from speaking to the community. Javier shared his story with members of the Flatbush Jewish Center on October 21, 2012. And just yesterday he was seen outside the store speaking to Kensington resident Jennifer Fortune, a senior at Hunter, writing a paper on the Golden Farm struggle for school.

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La lucha sigue!

One step closer to victory!

It only took two years. Golden Farm workers began organizing in December 2010 and today, November 27, 2012 Sonny Kim finally sat down to negotiate with Local 388 RWDSU/UFCW.  The contract sought by the majority of the workers that voted to unionize would guarantee the following basic protections for all the employees at the store:

Paid Sick days
Paid Vacation days
Paid Personal days
Funeral Leave
Raises

Nothing is guaranteed until Sonny actually decides to do the right thing. The ball continues to be in his court. Other stores similar to Golden Farm have settled their lawsuits and signed contracts for their workers. Soon perhaps, Golden Farm can be an example for other stores to follow in Kensington. We support small businesses in our community, but only those that treat their workers (our neighbors and friends) right.  Until that day however, the boycott continues!

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Golden Farm sidewalk chalk art