Strike averted at Hunts Point Produce Market

HUNTS POINT, The Bronx (WABC) -- After their three-year contract expired Tuesday, Teamsters Local 202 reached a tentative agreement covering 1,100 workers at the Hunts Point Produce Market.

A sticking point had been regarding a wage increase for the workers.

Union President Daniel Kane Jr. said management offered a 30-cent per hour pay raise, while union leaders want a dollar-per-hour increase. The union members voted unanimously Saturday to reject management's contract offer and authorize a strike.

"The members of this market, the workers here, are some of the hardest workers in New York, feeding all of New York CIty," said Kane. "They are out here, they start at about 8 or 9 o'clock at night and they'll work all the way to the morning. Shift difference to shift start. The hard, back-breaking work they do deserves a fair raise and an increase."

"A fair contract, nothing overboard," said union driver Pablo Villaman. "I'm not trying to get rich. I just want to live my life comfortable, the same way anybody else would."

The two sides had been negotiating for several weeks before reaching the tentative agreement overnight.

The market provides food to thousands of restaurants, bodegas, caterers and hotels throughout the New York metropolitan area.

They supply high end restaurants and street vendors. The market feeds about nine percent of the country.
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