Forget Biden’s bust of Cesar Chavez: Hunts Point strike is the bold labor action the country needs
Hunts Point is part of New York City’s most important food hub, handling most of the fruit and vegetables that get sold throughout the five boroughs. Its workers earned praise and press coverage for keeping the city fed as the public health crisis threatened supply chains. Having risked their lives throughout the last year, the workers, members of Teamsters Local 202, sought a raise of a mere $1 per hour in their new contract. Negotiations broke down when management refused, offering an hourly boost of only 32 cents. The union members voted to go on strike, starting last Sunday — the first strike at the Hunts Point market in 35 years (…) Alongside other unionized workers, the strike garnered support from a spread of activist communities and organizations, including the Democratic Socialists of America, immigrants’ rights groups, Black liberation fighters, anarchists, and anti-fascists. Angela Fernández, a leading immigrants’ rights attorney and activist, joined the picket line, having supported Teamsters facing immigration challenges in the past. Fernández, who is a New York City Council candidate seeking to represent neighboring Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill, told me that the intersection of immigrants’ rights and labor struggle can never be overlooked. “We need to understand the deep-rooted connectedness and intersectionality of this work”, she said, stressing that the “war on unions”, which she credits Ronald Reagan for starting, has been detrimental for working people everywhere.
Natasha Lennard in Forget Biden’s Bust of Cesar Chavez: Hunts Point Strike Is the Bold Labor Action the Country Needs (Intercept)