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!

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

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!