Kensington Community Says “No!” to Union Busting at Golden Farm!

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The Kensington Brooklyn community rallies in support of the workers at the Golden Farm grocery, where owner Sonny Kim has been trying to bust the union. Kim is one of the worst abusers of workers rights in New York City, and was caught by the Department of Labor stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of the wages he was supposed to be paying his workers. No to union-busting and abuse of workers in Brooklyn!

No Contract, Sonny Kim? No Thanks!

Here we are approaching Thanksgiving 2012, well over a year since the workers of Golden Farm began their courageous journey to secure the basic rights of a fair wage and decent working conditions, and the right not to be robbed of their pay. Along the way, they have found  many friends and supporters in the Kensington community.

ImageThey have achieved many hard-won victories along the way—forcing Golden Farm owner to admit he was lying and that in fact had stolen over $600,000 of his employees wages, forcing the store to begin paying at least minimum wage to its workers, negotiating an agreement to return at least some of the back pay to the workers, and finally winning a long, hard fight to have their union—RWDSU/UFCW Local 338—certified to represent them in the workplace.

And there have been hardships—the strain of months of battling a storeowner backed by expensive lawyers, the constant retaliations, and most devastating, the death of a beloved co-worker who was taken all too soon, and who never stopped fighting for his brothers and sisters.

And now it is Thanksgiving, and still, no contract has been signed, because Sonny Kim continues to stall.

ImageWe all noticed how eager Sonny Kim was to take advantage to the hurricane to rake in some business (and it has not gone unnoticed that, while many Kensington neighbors and businesses have stepped forward in the relief efforts, Sonny has been noticeably absent). And now comes another of the store’s busiest times of year—Thanksgiving Eve—where Kim is hoping once again to continue his philosophy that the Kensington community exists solely for him to suck money out of.

No Thanks, Sonny! The Kensington community that has been supporting our friends and neighbors that you have been exploiting for too long have other ideas.

Stay tuned!

Why We Support the Golden Farm Boycott

My name is Susan Braverman, and I have been living on East 5th Street since 1988. I was so glad when Golden Farm opened. It gave me access to fresh produce, and a plethora of other products, I miss shopping there. However, I will boycott them, until they give their hard-working and dedicated workers, a union contract.

—Susan Braverman, East 5th Street, Kensington
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Peter Walsh and Susan Braverman

My name is Peter Walsh and I support the people working at the Golden Farm Grocery in their fight for fair wages, sick days, a union contract and respect. I live just one block from the Golden Farm and can literally see the store from my window. Every day I see workers like Martin Gonzalez and Roberto Ramirez stocking the fruit and vegetables and unloading the trucks full of groceries – food that we have all put on our tables in the past. However, until the store’s owner Sonny Kim signs a union contract with the workers, I will not shop at the Golden Farm.

I support the boycott at the Golden Farm because everyone in our community deserves to be paid fairly for their hard work. I was once a worker at a grocery store. I know what it means to put stock on a shelf and I know what it feels like to stand at a cash register, ring up groceries and bag them for my neighbors. I know what it means to work without paid sick time. I know what it means to have no paid time off for holidays with my family.

The working people at the Golden Farm have my support and deserve the support of everyone in our Kensington neighborhood

—Peter Walsh, Beverley Road, Kensington

Golden Farm’s Owner Charges That Union Supporters are Supported by…UNIONS!

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Now that he has been forced to remove the wholly dishonest posters falsely claiming that the recently certified union was not supported by the store’s workers, Golden Farm owner Sonny Kim has continued to try and mend his tarnished reputation with the latest claim directed at his ever dwindling customers. Rather than simply sit down and negotiate with the union in good faith (which he is required to do by law), Kim once again chooses to deflect attention from his own shady deeds by claiming that the picketers outside the store demanding that he negotiate with the union are backed by (wait for it….UNIONS! This latest ingenious tactic was no doubt the brain-work of his high-priced, fancy Wisconsin-based union-busting law firm, which has been (ill)-advising him on ways to try and starve the workers into submission and break the union. But sorry, Mr Kim, this isn’t Wisconsin, and you would be better served by listening to the (free) advice of the Kensington community, and to sit down and negotiate that contract!