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Building solidarity at Stella D’oro

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dcsmart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:50 AM
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Building solidarity at Stella D’oro


Wet snow flurries greeted a seasoned band of heroic Stella D’oro production workers who stood shoulder to shoulder with their community supporters on the picket line. They were in front of the Bronx plant gate at 237th Street in the shadow of the Broadway elevated local train.

Hand painted signs hanging high on a chain link fence called for a boycott of Stella D’oro cookies. Workers held umbrellas and placards reading “On strike” and signed by Local 50 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers.

Elevated trains rumbling overhead periodically drowned out speeches and chants but not the solidarity of the workers who on Jan. 10 were beginning their fifth month outside the gates. Chants of “Boycott Stella!” and “No contract, no cookies!” warmed up the picket line.

Community supporters carried posters demanding “Boycott Stella D’oro products made by scabs.” They distributed boycott leaflets calling for a solidarity march on Jan. 31.

No Stella D’oro worker has joined the scab crew hired by Brynwood Partners. The Connecticut-based private equity vulture bought Stella D’oro from Kraft in 2006. Brynwood imposed extremely degrading demands, and then walked out of contract negotiations last Aug. 13, provoking the strike.

The Brynwood bosses want to establish a multitier work force by freezing the wages of some workers and cutting wages of many Latina women employees who have less specialized training, by 25 percent, while raising wages for a few workers with special training. Brynwood plans to viciously slash benefits, including holidays and sick days, replace a guaranteed union pension with risky individual 401K plans, and increase employee contributions to health insurance.

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http://www.workers.org/2009/us/stella_doro_0129 /
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:23 PM
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1. K&R!

It is so nice to have some more regular posters in the Labor Forum.

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