From: The Industrial Workers of The World (3/13/08)
IWW to picket Handyfat Trading in celebration of jury award for 6 fired workers of $360,000 in back pay!
Workers from Handyfat Trading founded IWW Industrial Union 460 in December 2005. They were instrumental and active in organizing all the other food service shops that have joined IU 460 since then (ten shops). In addition, these workers along with the workers from EZ Supply/Sunrise Plus achieved the first collective bargaining agreements in this segment of the food industry.
In December 2006 and January 2007, all union members from both Handyfat and EZ Supply were fired. After winning orders of reinstatement and back wages at the NLRB, the workers now begin to win the court battles for their stolen backwages.
The IWW will be holding a picket and press conference this Saturday at Handyfat.
Saturday - March 15th, 2008 at 10am
at Morgan and Thames street in Bushwick, Brooklyn (Look for the big rat on the corner) L train to the Morgan Avenue station The press will be invited to talk to the workers about their struggle and victory.
The Story at Handyfat (9/22/07)You can read more about Make the Road by Walking at UnionReview in the article entitled:
In August of 2005, Pablo Montes and Carlos Hidalgo, workers from Handyfat Trading Corp., attended a meeting of Workers in Action, the labor group at the Bushwick, Brooklyn, community organization Make the Road by Walking. They spoke of terrible working conditions: they worked 60 or more hours for a mere 280 dollars per week (at most $4.66/per hour with no overtime); they had no benefits or sick days, and they were called "dirty Mexicans" and worse by an abusive manager. Afterwards, they agreed to bring their fellow workers to meet with two IWW organizers/Make the Road members, six of whom joined the union. On December 5, 2005, over 50 supporters joined the Handyfat workers in a march to declare their IWW membership and demand that the owner observe the wage and hour law. By the end of the winter, the owner was paying legal wages, and the union had won a minority contract, complete with wage increases, sick days, vacation time, and other perks.
Brooklyn , NY - Fighting For the Little Guy And Winning
and you can read more about the IWW with a search at UnionReview,
While this is a huge victory for the workers, as of 9/22/08, the IWW local 460/640 had been dropping deeply into debt supporting these workers. You can contact them to see if they still need assistance. Hopefully the NLRB decision made them whole again.