Union members for fruit and vegetable market ponder strike

New York City is a hub for businesses and many of these businesses have unions to ensure that workers are treated fairly, wage and hour disputes are handled, and collective bargaining practices are adhered to. This does not just go for businesses in which there is a known union presence, such as construction and city workers. There are other businesses that have unions and the impact of a labor dispute will not be known until they have chosen to exercise their right to strike. Regardless of the effect it has on consumers, there are times when employee benefits will only be acquired through a walkout.

The market that supplies many vendors with fresh produce could face a strike if a pay agreement is not reached. The workers have not had a stoppage in more than three decades. The workers believed that an agreement would happen, but the union president was pessimistic that a settlement could be reached before a strike needed to be considered in earnest. The sides were negotiating, but little progress was reported.

The workers perform such essential duties as loading and unloading trucks, sorting produce and more for merchants. Management offered a raise of 30 cents per hour and it was rejected. There was no deadline for a strike. This facility provides produce for around 60 percent of the food in the city. It ships globally as well. One major issue is that there is a large gap between newly hired employees and longer-tenured workers at $2 per hour.

Labor law can be a complicated matter and workers must make sure they stick together within the union to protect the interests of all. While the union heads are trusted to protect the workers under their care, the union itself must also have legal protection and assistance in how they can go about getting the maximum amount for the members. A law firm experienced in union representation is one of the most important factors for the union to function optimally. When there are union concerns, it is imperative to have legal assistance.

Source: wibqam.com, "Pay dispute at New York's main product market could lead to strike," Peter Szekely, Jan. 16, 2018

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