Stella D'Oro set to close doors for good

September 10, 2009 3:08:51 PM PDT
A popular Italian cookie and breadstick maker in the Bronx is moving to Ohio. Stella D'Oro is closing its bakery, and that will leave scores of people without jobs. "They're evil people," worker Evelyn Rivera said. "And it's not right, what they're doing."

Rivera is just one of nearly 150 workers at Stella D'Oro who just found out that in two and a half weeks, they'll be let go.

"We're going to fight," worker George Kahssay said. "We're fighters. We never give up, and it's not over until it's over."

But the fight has already been a long and bitter one. A strike over wages and benefits that lasted 11 months resulted in Stella D'Oro's owner, Brynwood Partners, selling out to another company that wants to move the operation to Ohio.

Ironically, the strike here ended in July, when the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the union, ordering the owner of the company to pay lost wages and benefits. But that didn't do much for job security.

"We won a case in court," worker Juan Torres said. "We're doing everything we have to do, but we still lose."

Brynwood Partners reacted by saying they're saddened about the workers losing their jobs, but that, "Due to the union's unwillingness to compromise, we were left with no viable alternative." Workers are wondering what alternatives they'll have?

"Because we don't have no money to pay the credit cards, to pay bills," Torres said. "Everything going up."

And so with the picket line now empty, workers who thought they won after the strike have now lost far more as the company, a fixture in the Bronx for 77 years, gets set to close its doors for good.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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