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.

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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

A Golden Farm Christmas

We understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas this holiday season. However, the children of the Golden Farm workers that have been fighting for living wages and paid sick days for close to two years definitely do. It’s been a tough year. On July 12  brother Felix Trinidad passed away. On August 17 (the day before the boycott began) the owner of Golden Farm, Sonny Kim, cut the workers’ hours (and thus their salaries by nearly 40%).

In light of this, the Kensington community has decided to celebrate a gift drive for the children of the workers at Golden Farm supermarket. We have met Javier’s daughters (ages 7, 3, and 1) in this blog, as well as Felix’s children (little girl age 8, and her younger brother age 5). Antonino, Felix’s brother (who was also employed at Golden Farm and was forced out because of financial duress last month) has a 1 year old son and his wife is expecting a daughter in February.

When we called upon the community to support Felix’s widow Anastacia and their two children the Kensington community responded with nearly $1,500 in donations via the NYCC donation page.

We now call upon all of our neighbors to donate gifts that will be age appropriate for the children of the affected workers.

Donations can be dropped off at any time in the box on the porch at 308 East 4th, between Church Ave and Albermarle Ave.

Already one neighbor has responded! Below is a picture of the gifts she donated! THANK YOU!

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Thank you!

This holiday season we ask for paid sick days for all! Living wages for all!

Don’t be a grinch Sonny. If you sign the contract and reinstate the workers’ hours  then we promise to do all of our holiday grocery shopping at your store. Until then we will continue to take our dollars elsewhere, like the Foodtown on McDonald Avenue where the workers enjoy a union contract.

Happy holidays!

Who is Responsible for the Way Felix Trinidad Died?

Kensington resident Sharon Lerner on why ALL workers deserve paid sick days.

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Standing in middle is Anastacia (Felix’s widow), holding signs their two children, joined by Manuel (Golden Farm night shift worker) on far right at rally calling for sick days for all New Yorkers.