Cops took the workers into custody around midnight, according to members of Teamsters Local 202, who are demanding a $1-an-hour wage increase for produce market employees. Market Close Latest Breaking News, Pictures, Videos, and Special Reports from The Economic Times. Market Close Blogs, Comments and Archive News on Economictimes.com Global Ayurvedic Food Market Research Report – Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast Till 2027 – DecisionDatabases.com
A half-dozen picketers at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx were arrested early Tuesday during an ongoing strike for better wages, union officials said.
Cops took the workers into custody around midnight, according to members of Teamsters Local 202, who are demanding a $1-an-hour wage increase for produce market employees.
Video taken at the scene shows an army of police officers, some in riot gear, running up on two dozen strikers outside the market on Food Center Drive.
“You are unlawfully in the roadway and are obstructing vehicular traffic,” an NYPD recording blares from a nearby police vehicle, the video shows.
Trucks pass a sign that reads, “Fever? Cough? No Entry” at the New York City Terminal Produce Market Wednesday March 18, 2020 in the Bronx, New York. (Barry Williams/for New York Daily News)
“You are ordered to leave the roadway and use the available sidewalk. If you do so voluntarily, no charges will be placed against you. If you remain in the roadway and refuse to use the sidewalk, you will be placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct,” the recording says.
Cops appear to outnumber strikers by at least two to one. No one is visibly arrested, but picketers raise their hands up chanting “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the clip shows.
Six picketers were taken into custody for blocking the roadway. All were given summonses for disorderly conduct and released, an NYPD spokesman said.
Union leaders slammed the police response on Tuesday.
“These are the essential workers who went to work every day through the worst of the pandemic to feed New York,” Daniel Kane, president of Teamsters Local 202 said in a statement. “All they are asking for is a dollar-an-hour raise so they can feed their families.
“The fact that they were arrested on Martin Luther King Day reminds us what side of history we are on,” Kane said.
About 1,400 warehouse workers, drivers, and other members of Teamsters Local 202 went on strike Saturday after negotiations over the $1 raise fell apart.
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Kane said that the Hunts Point Market received $15 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government to keep their doors open during the pandemic, so they can afford the extra $1 bump.
“They can use riot cops to get trucks into the market, but the workers they need to unload the trucks are still on the picket line,” Kane said. “We will stay on strike until these employers pay their workers the essential wage they deserve.”
A spokesman said the Hunts Points Produce Market was willing to give workers a raise over the next three years that would be more than the current annual cost of living increases. The company said they also agreed to pay $10,000 per employee for pension benefits and $15,000 per employee for health care benefits.
But spokesman Bob Leonard said the market lost $100 million in business after two regional supermarket chains went under during the pandemic, so they couldn’t afford the raise the union wanted.
“Unfortunately, the union walked away from the bargaining table 12 days ago and since then has focused only on bringing its members out on strike, which is harmful to the members and the community,” Leonard said.
“Our top priority continues to be maintaining the flow of fresh produce to our region, and we have put safety measures in place to facilitate access to the market.”
Author: Thomas Tracy
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- Ayurvedic Food in Solid Form (AFSF)
- Ayurvedic Food in Liquid Form (AFLF)
By End User
- Supermarkets and Hypermarkets
- Drug Stores
- Online Retailers
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