NEW YORK — A tentative contract agreement may keep Hunts Point Terminal Market workers from walking off their jobs.
Doug OhlemeierA worker handles and loads produce at the Hunts Point Terminal Market in The Bronx in mid-January. Teamster union members threatened to walk off their jobs if market distributor owners didn’t meet their contract demands.According to Jan. 18 reports on the WNYC public radio and NY-1 websites, the workers’ union agreed to a tentative, three-year contract agreement with the market’s wholesaler owners.
Leaders of Teamsters Union Local 202 threatened to lead a walkout of the nearly 1,300 union market workers on Jan. 17 after union members rejected a Jan. 10 contract offer.
Union president Danny Kane stated he believes the deal achieves the union's goal to "secure a contract that would offer financial security for each member now and in the future," according to the reports.
The union and the market’s wholesale owners, through the Hunts Point Produce Trade Association, entered into negotiations which ran through mid-January. The board members employed a mediator to work out a compromise between the two sides, wholesalers said.
Union members are scheduled to start voting on the offer the evening of Jan. 19 with voting ending Jan. 20.
Wholesalers expressed relief that the strike appears to be called off.
“This is a good deal for everyone,” said Chris Armata, president of E. Armata Inc. “We need everyone to work. The men need their jobs and we need to sell produce. We have shippers we need to protect and move product for. New York needs to eat.”
If the strike materialized, it would mark the first time in 25 years workers picketed the market.