Hunts Point strike comes to an end
The employers at the Hunts Point Produce Market have reached an agreement with Teamsters Local 202 on a new three-year contract covering 1,400 workers at the Market. The agreement represents an over 10 percent increase in wages and benefits over the course of the contract, with an average 3.4 percent increase in each year of the agreement.
Teamsters Local 202 members approved their new union contract with the largest raises in the history of its bargaining unit — more than 97 percent of workers voted in favor.
“Our merchants in the Hunts Point Produce Market have been feeding New Yorkers for over 200 years,” said Stephen Katzman, owner and president of S. Katzman Produce and Co-President of the Hunts Point Cooperative Board. “We have kept the city fed throughout the Great Depression, two World Wars, two recessions, and now a global pandemic, without ever breaking our crucial role in the food supply chain. We are dedicated to supporting our farmers, customers and the people who ultimately consume our fruits and vegetables as we continue to provide a consistent supply of fresh quality produce to New York City and the surrounding area.
“For all of these reasons, we are very pleased to have been able to negotiate a new contract that provides our workers with an over 10 percent increase in hourly wages and fringe benefits over the next three years,” said Katzman. “We would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and his team in Albany as well as New York City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, Jr. for their support and assistance during this process. 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.”
Katzman added, “New Yorkers can rest assured that they will continue to have access to a consistent supply of fresh fruits and vegetables from the Hunts Point Produce Market. We would also like to express our gratitude and thanks to our customers for all of their support and patience over the last week.”
In addition to wage increases, under the new agreement, the majority of employees will continue to contribute $10 per week for full family health care coverage — just $520 per year, while management will increase their annual contribution to almost $18,000 per member. Management will also continue contributing $10,000 per year/per employee to the union pension fund.
The Hunts Point Produce Market and its 30-plus family-owned merchants handle thousands of varieties of fruits and vegetables daily, with more than 210 million packages of produce passing through in a typical year.