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!

Image

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!

Why is the boycott working?

Because the Kensington community believes in paid sick days and a living wage. Or at least a VERY NOTICEABLE percentage of the people. How much exactly? Hard to quantify. Sonny did sue NYCC for $3 million dollars and alleged in his suit that since October 2011, 20% of the business had disappeared. We would argue that since the boycott started on August 18, 2012 that the  percentage has been higher.

Not everyone is a supporter though. People loooove their Golden Farm. On the picket line we get to meet AND hear from Kensington’s finest! These scabs, sorry, fine neighbors, come in all shape and sizes:

The “Stuck in the Cold War” type:

“Go back to Cuba you communist!”

The “A–hole That Takes Flyer and Crumples It” type:

“Get the F— out of my way!”

The “Hipster Gentrifier” type:

“I feel for the workers but this store has the best Kombucha. And the microbrew selection is off the hook. Sorry man.”

The “Straight-up Racist” or “Brown People Who Speak Spanish are Not Human Beings” type:

“These illegals don’t deserve anything. These Mexicans shouldn’t be here in the first place!”

The “Still Stuck in the Matrix” or “The NYTimes is My Bible” type:

“This is just horrible. They should just file a lawsuit or call the Department of Labor and everything will be taken care of…You say they already did? Good, then why are you out here? I’m sorry, I really have to go inside and get some groceries quick. Good luck with everything.”

The “Smarty Pants I’ve Talked to ALL the Workers and They Don’t Want You Here” type:

“This isn’t going to work you know…if you boycott how is the owner going to have money to pay the workers? I’m really good friends with all the workers and they don’t want you out here….You’re asking me if I speak Spanish and if  I’ve talked to all the workers? No.  Just a couple cashiers.”

The “Don’t You Realize I’m a Walking Contradiction”  or “Convenience Justifies Crossing Picket Lines” type:

“Listen, I’m on your side. I’m pro-union. I’m  a supporter, I signed your petition a while ago. Why am I still shopping here?  Because this is such a convenient store, and Foodtown is really pricey, McDonald farm is not as good. This is just a really convenient store. I only shop here when I need to anyway.”

The “I’m From Another Planet” type:

“You guys are just trying to close down this store so you can open your own! Don’t think for a second you’re fooling me!”

Good times! We could go on and on. Fortunately however, there are the types that believe in basic human decency, labor rights and solidarity. Local residents Rabbi David Siff and Jennifer Fortune are just a couple examples:

Thank you Rabbi! Thank you Jennifer!

They (among many others) are the reason why this boycott is working and why at some point soon (knock on wood) Sonny Kim will do the math and realize that making peace is the sensible thing to do for his business (if we forget about justice for a second). The proverbial ball continues to be in his court. Sign the contract Sonny! We want our Kombucha!

(and also to shop in a union shop where the workers have paid sick days, raises, vacations, personal days and cannot get fired without just cause.)