(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:49 p.m.) Wholesalers on the Hunts Point Terminal Market are preparing for a possible strike.
After members of Teamsters Union Local 202 rejected a Jan. 10 contract offer by the cooperative that runs the market, leaders of the 1,200 workers are vowing to walk off their jobs at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 17, the day the current contract expires.
Market co-chairman Matthew D’Arrigo, vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc., said market distributors are preparing to remain open.
“We are doing everything we can to avoid a strike,” D’Arrigo said Jan. 12. “You have a very high unemployment rate in the Bronx. We feel we have offered a fair package to the men who work here. We hope we can come to an agreement with the union before the contract expires.”
Bob Leonard, a spokesman for the market’s owners, said negotiations are underway and that the market hopes to settle the issue before the contract’s expiration.
According to media reports, union leaders rejected the market's offering the workers a 15-cent an hour pay increase with a one-time $700 bonus.
If the strike occurs, it would be the first time in 25 years workers picketed the market.