Key Food Meat Department Signs New Contract

 

Photo courtesy of Ben Weiss

After a lockout, public protest, and federally-mediated cooling off period, meat department workers at seven Key Food locations across Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island have a new contract.

“We got what we was fighting for,” declared Bonnie Mingo, a meat wrapper at the Greenpoint Key Food on McGuinness Blvd.

The 38 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local 342 “overwhelmingly” ratified a new contract three weeks ago, said Kelly Eagan, director of Local 342, in an email.

Photo courtesy of Ben Weiss

This concludes a more than two-month-long fight in which Pick Quick Foods, Inc., the owner of seven Key Food supermarkets, barred meat department workers from work because of an ongoing contract dispute.

Locked out for approximately a month, meat department workers subsisted on unemployment benefits and strike pay from their union, reported The Indypendent. They even launched a GoFundMe campaign, which garnered more than $30,000 in donations.

Fortunately, the department’s new contract includes pay raises, no extra member cost for healthcare and retroactive pay for the time members were locked out. “We were all very satisfied with the outcome,” explained Eagan.

Workers at the Greenpoint location were more measured in their opinion of the four-year deal. “Every contract, you lose something,” said Javier Escobar, manager of the meat department. He explained that the contributions to long-time workers’ pensions were not ideal.

Mingo agreed. “Of course nobody gets exactly what they want, but I guess the good thing about it is that we’re getting something. We still have jobs.”

Pick Quick Foods, Inc. did not respond to requests for comment on the renegotiated contract.

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