Hunts Point Produce Market, striking workers reach tentative agreement

HUNTS POINT, the Bronx (WABC) -- It appears striking workers will soon be headed back to work at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx after the two sides reached a tentative agreement.

The operators of the market announced Saturday that they have reached a deal with Teamsters Local 202 on a new three-year contract covering 1,400 workers.

The union was set to vote to finalize the agreement later in the day.

"With an average annual increase just under three-times the current cost of living increase, we feel this is a very fair and equitable deal," Owner and President of S. Katzman Produce and Co-President of the Hunts Point Cooperative Board Stephen Katzman said.

Watch Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis' full report on the strike:
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Marcus Solis has more on a union strike demanding higher hourly wages from a Bronx supermarket.

Sixty percent of New York City's fruits and vegetables are processed at the market.

Workers went on strike for the first time in 35 years earlier in the week to demand higher wages and additional health care support as they continue to work through the coronavirus pandemic.

It's hard, physical labor usually done during the overnight hours, which is when picket lines had been busiest with visitors like representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez lending support.

There have been arrests as well, six strikers were ticketed for blocking trucks from entering the market and other vehicles had turned around in solidarity.

"We're part of that food chain and we'd like to continue to be part of that food chain, we just think we should be recognized," Teamsters Local 202 President Daniel Kane Jr. said.

The market remained open during the strike, staffed by management and non-union workers.

The operators of the market had offered a $0.32 an hour raise, but the union was asking for an increase of $1 an hour or roughly 5%.

The agreement means workers will receive a 10% increase in wages and benefits over the course of the contract.

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