Free College For UFCW Members

Did you know? Members of our UFCW family and their families are eligible for no-cost college. Because of your UFCW membership, you and your family members can earn an associate degree online from a public, accredited community college – with no out-of-pocket costs to you. It’s all part of the value of being a member. http://www.ufcw.org/college/

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Local 2013 Helps Members Obtain U.S Citizenship

 BROOKLYN, NY- Union members gathered Saturday, June 3rd to take a part in the first ever U.F.C.W Local 2013 Citizenship Workshop. Assisted by Union staff and attorney Angel Gonzalez of UFCW International, members were able to complete all necessary paperwork to get them on the path to citizenship.

President Louis Mark Carotenuto was on hand to assist with the workshop and congratulate members on taking a big step towards becoming a citizen. “As we fight off an ugly current of anti-immigrant politicians and legislation, there is no time better than now for all of those able to become U.S citizens,” President Carotenuto said, “The ability to attain citizenship for children, the right to vote, and the security of knowing that your citizenship cannot be revoked are just some of the benefits we are happy to help our members obtain. We are proud to offer this service free to our members; helping them to avoid spending thousands of dollars at an attorney’s office.”

After the success of the first Workshop, the Union plans on holding more in the city and throughout the areas where members live and work. Stay tuned for details!

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Important Safety Notice

All UFCW Local 2013 Members,

Should any member be assigned to perform a task they deem to be unsafe or potentially dangerous; witness someone performing a task or job  deemed to be unsafe or dangerous; or experience an issue they feel could potentially become unsafe, you should immediately report the issue to your location management,  your location Shop Steward, and your Union Representative.

While you should never refuse to do a work assignment, you do have the right to question and point out SAFETY Concerns. If it is a situation which you honestly believe, will absolutely put your life at risk – you should go to location management immediately as well as contacting the Union immediately and voice your concerns. The Union will then investigate the concern / claim and make the appropriate inquiries of location management. If needed, the Union bring in a Union Industrial Hygienist to conduct  investigations and safety analysis testing, file reports, suggest alternative methods which are safer.

Moreover, if it is deemed absolutely necessary, the Union can even contact the appropriate regulatory agency to step in to assure worker safety…. Always think safety when you approach any job task/assignment; we want to help assure you go home safely to your family each night just as healthy as when you left them at the start of your day.

Remember, don’t simply refuse…. Ask for help – ask for guidance – ask for your Union Rep !

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In Solidarity,

Louis Mark Carotenuto
President
U.F.C.W Local 2013

Support Union Members and Save on Daily News Subscriptions!

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How to Help Union Brothers and Sisters Affected By Hurricane Harvey

Please see below for information on how to assist Union brothers and sisters affected by Hurricane Harvey:

Dear Affiliates,

We are asking for your help as our brothers and sisters in Texas are experiencing one of the biggest natural disasters they have ever faced.

Hurricane Harvey’s slow movement and a resulting deluge have hit Houston, Galveston Island, Corpus Christi, Beaumont-Port Arthur, parts of central Texas and many areas in between. And the danger from the torrential downpour is far from over.

Donate now to the Texas Workers Relief Fund to help working families in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey.  If you wish to donate by check please make it out to the “Texas Workers Relief Fund (memo:Hurricane Harvey)” and mail it to the Texas AFL-CIO, P.O. Box 12727, Austin, TX 78711.

We know from experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that outside support was integral to recovery from such a powerful disaster. Union members are extraordinarily generous in tough times. Events like Super-storm Sandy in the Northeast, much like Harvey in Texas demonstrate that union members are always ready to step up and help families in times of crisis.

The Texas Workers Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable fund, which is overseen by the Texas AFL-CIO, provides direct help to union families in need.

We learned what it was like to experience hundred year storms with the death and destruction left in their wake. We cannot make everyone whole; but our movement can send a message of solidarity, a message that we are with working people badly harmed by Hurricane Harvey in heart, in soul and in spirit. On this Labor Day, let us dedicate ourselves to the working families who need our help urgently.

Please donate now.

In Solidarity,

John
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John R. Durso
President, Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

General Membership Meeting Announcement

All U.F.C.W Local 2013 Members please be advised-

General Membership meetings have been tentatively scheduled for the following times and places:

Wednesday February 8, 2017 5:30 PM
Gregory Hotel
8315 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

Wednesday May 17, 2017 5:30 PM
Long Island Federation of Labor
390 Rabro Drive, Hauppauge, NY 11788

Tuesday August 22, 2017 Time TBD
Location TBD

Wednesday November 15, 2017 Time TBD
Location TBD

*****Please note this information is tentative please check back to the Union website for the latest information or check with your Union Representative.*****

 

Local 2013 Activists Travel to Battleground State Pennsylvania to GOTV For Hillary Clinton

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This Saturday, November 5th, a group of Local 2013 activists traveled to Philadelphia to knock on doors to Get Out the Vote for Hillary Clinton. Joined by sister U.F.C.W Locals and other Union allies, volunteers talked to hundreds of voters in the crucial battleground state.

Click here to locate your polling place or find out voting hours in your state.

Message to Restaurant Depot Members

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Attention Restaurant Depot Members,

As many of you know, our Union is currently in the process of negotiating the Restaurant Depot General Agreement. This is the umbrella agreement that covers all Restaurant Depot members nationwide. This contract, along with your specific store’s Supplementary contract constitutes all of your Union rights, benefits, and protections.

 

Currently, the Union’s negotiation team, led by myself, Local 2013 Recorder and Director of Collective Bargaining Eugene Hickey, and Union Counsel Mark Belland are fighting hard to preserve and improve upon the benefits in the General Agreement. As expected, it has not been easy. The Company has proposed concessions which we do not find acceptable. The Union’s proposals include improvements to benefits such as added vacation time, increased Annuity Fund contributions, increased Freezer pay differential, increased Hi-lo pay differential, increased night shift pay differential and more. Our goal is to work towards and achieve a higher level of benefits and then standardize that level nationwide. So that all Restaurant Depot workers nationwide receive equal benefits for equal work.

 

We will continue to work vigilantly towards a fair and just contract. We have meetings scheduled with the Company to continue bargaining and in order to make sure that negotiations move forward, we have involved a Federal Mediator from the Federal Government’s agency of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services. As we continue the negotiation process, we have extended the current Agreement to ensure that all members’ rights and benefits are protected.

 

We are proud that for the first time in the history of this contract, when an agreement is reached, all members nationwide will have the opportunity to read, review, ask questions, and then cast their vote on whether to accept or reject the agreement. We will keep you posted on all major developments relating to the negotiations. Remember– any Union’s strength comes from you the members standing in solidarity. Remain strong, united, and supportive as we move through this process towards a better contract, stronger Local 2013, and a more prosperous future.

 

In Solidarity,
Louis Mark Carotenuto
President
U.F.C.W Local 2013

Sweet ‘n Low Members Ratify Severance Deal

After months of hard work, Local 2013 members at Cumberland Packing ratified a package of agreements to provide for benefits stemming from their factory’s closure.

“We at Local 2013 are proud that this agreement provides some financial comfort to our members as they seek out whatever their futures may hold,” said Louis Mark Carotenuto, president of Local 2013.

Some of what the union achieved include a 70-cent wage increase retroactive to October, continued medical coverage for up to a year, an increase in the company’s retirement plan contribution that carries forward for up to a year, an improved overtime distribution system to allow fair distribution in the plant’s final months, enhancements around use of vacation and personal time to allow members better scheduling of time off, and improvements on the safety team.

The severance pay members will enjoy is on a graduated scale based on seniority, up a maximum of one year for the most senior members. Members will receive the severance as they are laid off in waves beginning in May.

The company will also work with the union to also sponsor other benefits such as ESL classes, job fairs, and other skills assessment and training to ensure they are best prepared to find their next job.

SEE ADDITIONAL NEWS COVERAGE:

Capital NY: Sweet’N Low employees get some perks, but will start losing jobs in May

Gothamist: Brooklyn Sweet’N Low Workers Will Get 70 Cent Raise Before They Are Laid Off

Fort Greene Focus: Sweet ‘N Low Layoffs Will Be Less Bitter With New Severance And Pay Raise Agreement

Local 2013 Fights for Fair Budget in Albany

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Fifty-five members from UFCW Local 2013 headed to Albany this week to lobby representatives on the need to fund a fair budget for patients and the workers who provide their care.

The Health Care Lobby Day saw a big group of UFCW health care workers participate, including home health aides, certified nursing assistants, medication technicians, dietary workers, and housekeepers.

Alongside other UFCW and RWDSU locals, they met with legislators and staff from 23 Assembly and Senate districts, including the Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

“Many of our members rely on the state to fund their contract increases,” said Mark Carotenuto, president of UFCW Local 2013. “That’s why it’s so important that legislators hear from our members directly.”

Una Brown, Local 2013 Executive Board vice president, works as a home health aide at Americare. “I love my work, but the pay is not enough,” Brown said. “Many of my co-workers have to sign up with two or three agencies to make a living.”

In New York City, one out of every seven low wage workers are employed as a home care aide. The hourly mean wage for home health aides is approximately $10.75 per hour, or $22,360 a year, in the state.

Home health aides would see a $5,000 per year raise if hourly wages are increased to $15 per hour.

Raising wages would reduce employee turnover and lower dependence on public assistance. According to a State Senate report, 56 percent of direct care workers in New York State receive some sort of public assistance.

Local 2013 has been a strong backer of the Fight for $15 in New York State for years, participating in lobby meetings, rallies, and marching in the streets with other local unions and community groups.

But since health care reimbursements are set by the state, Carotenuto said, increases in minimum wage have to be matched with increases in Medicaid and other state programs. “The legislature needs to step up and fund an appropriate budget,” he said.

Support the UFCW Stop & Shop Family

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The fight for a fair deal at Stop & Shop continues to intensify as the profitable company demands cuts to grocery workers’ benefits.

UFCW Local 2013 backs the workers at Stop & Shop. “We are asking our members to visit their local store and talk to the manager,” said Louis Mark Carotenuto, Local 2013 president. “Let them know we are part of the UFCW family and we only shop at stores that support good union jobs. Settle a fair contract or risk losing our business!”

The New England Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union announced a series of rallies in the campaign for a fair contract for 35,000 Stop & Shop workers in New England. Following a rally of hundreds of Stop & Shop workers, customers, elected officials, and community supporters last week, Stop & Shop workers will bring the same energy to five more rallies before the Easter holiday.

New England Stop & Shop workers are currently working under an expired union contract while the profitable company insists on cuts to hard-earned benefits. Stop & Shop’s parent company, Netherlands-based grocery giant Ahold, recently announced operating profits for last year in excess of $1.4 billion. Today, Ahold and Delhaize shareholders are expected to approve the merger of their companies, which will be completed later this year. Prior to closing of the merger, Ahold shareholders will receive a payout of more than $1 billion.

While paying out dividends to foreign shareholders, the company is demanding that workers accept cuts to longstanding benefits, decreasing take-home pay and cutting future retirement benefits despite a fully-funded and secure pension fund. The company is further demanding that future workers be given second-rate benefits and pay, transforming Stop & Shop’s once middle-class jobs into low-wage jobs.

“Stop & Shop’s proposals show that the company has strayed from its core values,” said Tim Melia, president of UFCW Local 328. “This used to be a company that took pride in offering the best wages and benefits in the region, and attracting the best workers. Our members are only asking for their fair share of the success their hard work has built.”

The hardworking men and women of Stop & Shop have been joined in their fight for a fair contract by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Treasurer and member of Stop & Shop’s founding family, Deb Goldberg, the combined 700,000 union members of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island State AFL-CIO Councils, and the 1.3 million members of the UFCW International Union.

Rallies will be held:

Wednesday, March 16th, 4-6 P.M.
Quincy Stop & Shop
65 Newport Ave., Quincy, MA

Thursday, March 17th, 4-6 P.M.
Dorchester Stop & Shop
1100 Massachusetts Ave, Dorchester, MA

Tuesday, March 22nd, 4-6 P.M.
Norwalk Stop & Shop
380 Main Ave, Norwalk, CT

Wednesday, March 23rd, 4-6 P.M.
East Hartford Stop & Shop
940 Silver Ln, East Hartford, CT

Thursday, March 24th, 4-6 P.M.
Holyoke Stop & Shop
28 Lincoln St, Holyoke, MA

Members Celebrate ESL Graduation

Members of UFCW Local 2013 in Long Island finished their second session of English as a Second Language classes this January, and marked the occasion with a celebration.

The Saturday classes have proven popular with members from the Quality King and Perfumania warehouses in Suffolk County. Dozens of members have completed the ESL program through the union, and more are looking to join.

“Our union believes in helping members achieve their dreams, at work and in the community,” said Mark Carotenuto, president of UFCW Local 2013. “Helping members gain skills and get involved reflects the values of our union family.”

Taught by professional teachers at the Suffolk County Community College, the classes are supported by a generous grant from New York State’s Workforce Development Institute.

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Sweet ‘N Low Workers Rally to Save Jobs in Brooklyn

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Hundreds of workers who make Sweet ‘N Low and Sugar in the Raw rallied this week to fight the closure of their Brooklyn factory.

Members of UFCW Local 2013, they told the company “Hell No, Sweet ‘N Low!”

Cumberland Packing employs 320 union members in the Fort Greene neighborhood and across the street inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

They have made sweeteners in Brooklyn since World War II, but now the company says it wants to outsource the production and leave the blue-collar workers who built the company out in the cold.

Flanked by elected officials, Local 2013 President Mark Carotenuto expressed outrage at the rally at how the family-owned company treated its long-time workers, most of whom are black and Latino.

“These are people who have given a lifetime of labor to this company,” Carotenuto said. “The company said they were family. This isn’t how you treat family.”

Public Advocate Letitia James said the sudden announcement of the closure smelled like a real-estate deal cooked up for the overheating Brooklyn housing market.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams denounced the deal, as did City Council Members Stephen Levin and Daneek Miller.

And City Council Member Laurie Cumbo said there was no way that local elected officials would stand by and let the company sell out its workforce to build yet another condominium tower.

The New York City Central Labor Council, RWDSU Locals 338, 1102, and UFCW Local 1500 all rallied in support, along with the Working Families Party and ALIGN.

Cumberland isn’t hurting. In fact, the company has said it is profitable. Management just wants to boost profits by shipping the work elsewhere.

Cumberland never approached the union to say it was considering leaving Brooklyn, or asked to explore options with the city and state to modernize and upgrade its plant.

Jahan Khan, a member of the bargaining committee that’s been working hard to negotiate with Cumberland since September, told the crowd that he lives a block away from the factory. He’s 34 years old and supports three kids on his wage.

“I want to stay and raise my family in Brooklyn,” Khan said. “But what kind of chance will I have if the good jobs disappear?”

Carotenuto said the fight is just beginning. Hundreds of members crowded a local church the next day to plan the next steps together.

“We are aggressively pursuing every avenue possible to save these jobs,” he said.

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Cumberland Packing: Pocketing Taxpayer Millions, Exporting Brooklyn Jobs

UFCW Local 2013 denounces Cumberland Packing’s decision today to close its historic Brooklyn facilities—and members say it won’t happen without a fight.

“Today’s announcement that Cumberland Packing is leaving Brooklyn is the equivalent of the Eisenstadt family packing up and running off with their millions in the middle of the night,” said Louis Mark Carotenuto, president of UFCW Local 2013.

UFCW Local 2013 has been bargaining with Cumberland since September. Never once during negotiations did the company raise the issue of competitive pressure—let alone pressure that was forcing them to consider leaving Brooklyn.

Cumberland has always touted being a family owned, Brooklyn-based company. Throughout bargaining company owners claimed they enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the union members, who will all be fired in the course of the next year as production is moved elsewhere.

The reality was that the company had taken advantage of the largely Latino immigrant workforce. Among the 320 union workers at the plant, three-quarters made less than $15 per hour.

“My family depends on my income,” said Natividad Sanchez, a 19-year veteran of Cumberland who has worked at the company since she came to the country from the Dominican Republic. She is raising two children in Brooklyn, and says she doesn’t know where she would go if the company closes.

“We can’t allow this to happen,” Sanchez said. “The union is going to be just as strong as the company.”

UFCW Local 2013 discovered an alarming gender pay gap of $2.13 between men and women and worked hard in negotiations this year to end discriminatory treatment.

“Cumberland took millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies in the last years,” Carotenuto said. “Pocketing the money and exporting hundreds of jobs is quite a thank you present to New Yorkers.”

Today’s announcement has everything to do with what’s wrong with corporate America today. Upside-down trade laws have given corporations incentives to shift their production to low-cost, non-union facilities. Those same trade deals displace workers around the globe. Some fled their countries and settled in Brooklyn to work at Cumberland.

Now, the company is looking to put those 320 families out in the cold.

“UFCW Local 2013 intends to pursue every possible avenue,” Carotenuto said. “Our fight for good-paying, safe jobs is just beginning.”

Amber Court, Low Pay is Not OK!

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UFCW Local 2013 members rallied outside their Elizabeth, New Jersey, assisted living facility to send a message—they have been waiting too long to make up lost ground.

The members, who care for scores of elderly and infirm patients at the at Amber Court of Elizabeth facility, make near minimum wage, $8.38 an hour in New Jersey.

Even after years of service, medication technicians make only about $9 an hour at Amber Court. In the rest of New Jersey, med techs earn an average of $11 an hour.

At a time when workers across the country are standing together to fight for $15, the owners at Amber Court of Elizabeth have offered just 15-cent raises.

Unwilling to accept poverty wages and a downgrade in their medical plan, the UFCW Local 2013 members at the facility took a strike authorization vote.

But the owners refused to budge in contract talks. So Local 2013 rallied outside the facility in mid-December, calling on management to respect their workers and drawing cheers from the community.

“Amber Court, wake up!” the demonstrators chanted. “Low pay is not OK!”

Members participated during their lunch break, or before their scheduled shift.

“This fight is not over,” said Mark Carotenuto, president of Local 2013. “Negotiations are still taking place. But we need to send a clear message to this employer. You must do better for the workers who take care of family members. How much is it worth to take care of your family members? Isn’t your mother, or father, or grandparent worth more than minimum wage?”

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Membership Meeting: December 17

Thursday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Long Island Federation of Labor
390 Rabro Dr, Hauppauge, NY
Exit 55 on LIE

Learn about important improvements in the medical insurance plan. Refreshments will be served.

Quality King Members Celebrate New Contract

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After a hard-fought campaign, Quality King Repack members ratified their new contract last night.

The new agreement will provide historic raises for the 220 women in this division of Quality King, along with more vacation time, paid sick leave, union leave for steward training, and the maintenance of 100 percent employer-paid health insurance.

Over the life of the agreement, these UFCW Local 2013 members will see a 16 percent growth in wages, lifting many from minimum-wage employment for the first time in their careers.

During the campaign, the members rallied and held a delegation with elected officials and community supporters. And when management tried to retaliate against members for taking action, the union responded with an NLRB charge and wore buttons together to demonstrate unity.

After months of negotiations, the company agreed to demands that the women of Quality King should see equal pay for equal work, and that they deserve the same raises that men in other divisions received in their contracts.

The fearless women of Quality King faced down intimidation and threats over immigration status, and stuck together to win a historic agreement. Together, we are stronger.

Hasta la victoria siempre!

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Quality King Workers Push Back against Intimidation

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Quality King members aren’t letting up—even as their employer starts playing dirty.

After UFCW Local 2013’s delegation and rally two weeks ago, some managers called in union activists in for meetings and made comments about immigration status.

UFCW Local 2013 immediately filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

Members responded with a Unity Day yesterday, proudly wearing UFCW buttons at both Long Island locations to show their employer they are united, unafraid, and ready to win a fair agreement.

Stewards and representatives have been reinforcing that members have the right to speak out and fight for better conditions. Threats about status are pure harassment against immigrant workers. Since 2011, the national policy of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency has been not to interfere in workplaces during a labor dispute.

The union bargaining committee was ready to meet yesterday, but management decided to cancel the bargaining session.

UFCW Local 2013 members vowed to keep up the pressure.

“Quality King should be ashamed. This is a blatant attempt to intimidate workers who work hard to provide for their families,” said Mark Carotenuto, president of Local 2013. “The women of Quality King Repack have shown they won’t back down.”

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Fresh Direct Members Win in Federal Court

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Fresh Direct members scored a big win in federal district court.

A judge threw out the company’s lawsuit and ordered Fresh Direct to honor the arbitration award that the union won last year.

This means that members affected by discipline from the snowstorms—almost 100 members overall—will have one disciplinary step removed from their file.

“Justice was a long time coming, but our union never wavered,” said President Mark Carotenuto. Union officials are working with the company now to implement the arbitration award.

Legislators, Leaders Tell Quality King: Equality is not Optional

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More than a hundred Quality King members rallied July 14 alongside a delegation of elected officials, faith, community, and labor leaders, insisting on equal pay for equal work.

They delivered dozens of letters supporting UFCW Local 2013’s campaign for fair wages and gender equality to management at Quality King’s headquarters.

Quality King, which packages and distributes beauty care products from its Long Island warehouses, has settled contracts with higher wages for divisions of the company that employ mostly men.

The 200 members of the Repack division, however, are almost all women and the company proposed only to pay them minimum wage. The workers’ contract expired in May, and members of UFCW Local 2013 have been fighting for a fair contract since then.

Quality King is owned by the Nussdorf family, one of the wealthiest families in America. According to Forbes’ estimates, the Nussdorfs are worth $1.6 billion.

“It’s unconscionable that the Nussdorfs only value Quality King workers as minimum-wage employees,” said Mark Carotenuto, president of UFCW Local 2013. “These are hard-working men and women trying to support their families. Immigrant workers are the backbone of Long Island, and it’s time they were treated like it.”

“We have human rights laws in Suffolk County—and all over this country,” said Kate Browning, Suffolk County legislator. “I’m shocked that any company would want to treat female workers different than male. And certainly no company that has enjoyed subsidy support from our state ever should.”

Quality King has received millions of dollars of subsidies from New York State taxpayers to grow and expand its business, which employs about 1,000 people across Long Island.

Along with Browning, Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez and a representative of Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory’s office attempted to discuss these issues with the company, but were turned away at the door.

“Quality King had the gall to tell our bargaining committee that if immigrant workers couldn’t afford to live in Long Island, they should move elsewhere,” Carotenuto added. “Maybe the Nussdorfs should spend less time at Hampton beach houses and more time focusing on the workers who have built this company.”

Sister Judy Fay of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood spoke at the rally, telling UFCW Local 2013 members that when one person suffers, everyone suffers.

Victoria Daza of Long Island Jobs with Justice also shared her sense of outrage.

“The fact that Quality King is not raising the wages to the same level as their male employees is a complete insult,” Daza said.

Vilma Eraso, a bargaining committee member who has worked at Quality King for 13 years, said: “My co-workers and I work hard. What we ask for in return is a fair wage and to be treated with respect. We should not be treated differently just because we are women and immigrants.”

FOR MORE:

Newsday: Workers Rally for Higher Wages and Equal Pay at Quality King’s Bellport Headquarters

El Diario NY: Trabajadoras Hispanas en Long Island Exigen Igualdad Salarial

Univision: Trabajadoras Exigen Igualidad Salarial

 

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