No justice! No peas!
Workers at a famed Bronx market responsible for supplying fruits and vegetables to most of the city’s restaurants and grocers are on the verge of walking off the job, the Daily News has learned.
The Hunts Point Produce Market workers are threatening to go on strike unless a deal is reached by midnight Friday — raising the specter of New Yorkers having to go without their kale salads and blueberry smoothies.
“This is a story about people that work really hard and want to be compensated for it,” said Danny Kane, president of Teamsters Local 202.
Kane said the megamarket’s 1,200 workers — who make between $123 and $177 per day — are asking for a daily raise of $5.
“We don’t think we’re asking for much when you think about it,” Kane said.
“Many of these merchants are very, very wealthy people and these workers are very productive people.”
Robert Leonard, spokesman for the Hunts Point Produce Market, emphasized that even if the workers walk off the job, its bountiful fruits and vegetables would still make it on the shelves of city bodegas and grocery stores.
“Discussions are ongoing and we are confident that all parties can come to a resolution on this matter to avoid a work stoppage,” Leonard said.
“However, in the unfortunate event of a strike, contingency measures are in place to ensure the market remains open to continue providing fresh produce to the communities we serve.”
The market, considered the nation’s biggest fruit and veggie mart, supplies 60% of the produce purchased in the tristate area, Kane said.
“We supply basically every restaurant in the city,” Kane added.
The last time the Hunts Point workers walked off the job was in 1986.
Word of the possible new strike led Mayor de Blasio to weigh in.
“We obviously take it very seriously,” de Blasio said.
“Hunts Point is crucial to this city. There’s been rumors of this possibly before, and some good work was done to ensure harmony and move forward. So we’ll certainly do anything it will take to help keep moving things forward, and I’m hopeful.”