While President Biden’s inauguration was happening in Washington, D.C., one of the most well-publicized lawmakers was at a produce terminal to draw attention to produce handlers on picket lines.
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and others, joined picket lines at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the evening on January 20, three days after produce handlers in Teamsters Local 202 went on strike for a $1 pay raise.
“When you’re standing on this line, you’re not just asking for $1, you are asking for transformational change for your lives, over the lives of every food worker across this country, for kids or food workers across the country,” Representative Ocasio-Cortez said to workers in a video posted to social media.
Negotiations reportedly have stalled with representatives offering a 32-cent raise, similar to an increase workers have received over the past few years, according to an article in the New York Times. Charles Machadio, vice president of Teamsters Local 202 told the NYT six workers have died and about 300 have gotten sick after contracting the coronavirus.
Blue Book contacted several businesses at Hunts Point for comment and was referred to Rob Leonard, a public relations representative.
“The market remains open for business and we are actively involved in negotiations with the union at this time,” Leonard said, in an emailed statement.