AOC urges New Yorkers to rally behind Hunts Point Market striking workers

AOC urges New Yorkers to rally behind Hunts Point Market striking workers

Congresswoman for New York's 14th District Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called on New Yorkers across the city to rally behind workers at Hunts Point Market who are currently on strike demanding a $1 dollar salary raise.

Speaking when she addressed the workers on Wednesday evening, congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez said it was time for New Yorkers to pull up and help the workers who help deliver their food.

"New York City, It's time to pull up and support. These workers are now on strike 24/7. Pull up to join them or drop off supplies-most requested items are coffee, water, hand warmers and food. 772 Edgewater road in the Bronx. Let's get them the buck they are organizing and asking for. It's the bare minimum we can do," she said. 

"Did you know that 60 percent of New York City's produce comes through Hunts Point market in the Bronx? And that the essential workers there who have risked their lives all year to put food on our tables are currently on strike? A dollar for a raise? It's embarrassing that a corporation enjoying pandemic profits, millions in PPP and more in tax giveaways is fighting a $1 raise for essential workers who have risked their lives all year to feed us. 

"It is time we stand up for essential workers everywhere. Thank you @nyteamsters for standing up for labor rights not only for workers here but everywhere."

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez told the workers that everyone across New York City was behind their decision to go on strike and demand for a raise.

"People started using this term essential workers this past year but you have always been essential workers. Everyone is behind you. There is no person in New York City that can think that what you are doing is wrong," she said,

She added that, "There is a lot of things upside down right now in our economy. One of those things that is upside down is that the person who is helping get the food to your table, cannot feed their own kids. 

"That's upside down. The fact that someone who helps deliver your health care, cannot even get healthcare for themselves. That's not right. We are going to make sure today we take the upside down and make it right side up. We are going to do that with people who are in a collective struggle together."

And the New York City Democratic Socialists of America (NYC-DSA) said it was supporting the Hunts Point Market workers in their ongoing strike because solidarity was cardinal.

"They haul 60 percent of all fruits and vegetables that feed New York City, processing $2 billion food every year. During the pandemic, while they worked to keep our grocery shelves filled, hundreds got infected with COVID-19 and six have died so far," read a tweet from the official Twitter account of NYC-DSA. 

"All they asked for was a $1/hour raise, many don't even make $20/hour, but management refused. So now 1,400 workers are on strike-picketing the market 24/7 in freezing temperatures as they strike for fair pay.

"NYC-DSA is supporting the workers on the picket line everyday-because solidarity is something you do. Just tonight, a train loaded with produce driven by Teamsters turned around to go back to Ohio, because solidarity means not crossing the picket line." 

One of the workers, Edward Gill, said "We go through a lot to take care of our community to make sure that we put food on the table for them."

Daniel Kane Jr President Teamsters local 202 said the workers should be given a more reasonable raise than the 32 cents raise that Hunts Point Market management was proposing.