Text of leaflet distributed by the Stella D’Oro Solidarity Committee
PDF of leaflet
On September 8, big business dropped a bombshell on NYC labor: anti-union Lance Inc. – a junk food maker based in North Carolina, bankrolled by Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms – is buying Stella D’oro. The Bronx plant would be shut; its unionized workers, who have waged a crucial struggle for more than a year, would be dumped on the street. Production would be moved to a non-union facility in Ohio. This is corporate union-busters’ revenge on the 136 courageous Stella workers, who waged an 11-month strike against the current owners, Brynwood Partners. Last July, after a judge ruled against their unfair labor practices, Brynwood said they would close the plant. Now Brynwood says it’s selling Stella to the notoriously anti-union Lance, and will close the Stella D’Oro plant down in October.
It’s up to the workers of New York, and the whole labor movement, to stop this attack on all workers.
The Stella D’Oro Biscuit Co. has been in the Bronx since the 1930s. Its workers, members of BCTGM (Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers) Local 50, are a cross-section of the vibrant communities of the Bronx. They walked out in August, 2008 in response to management’s demands for 25% wage cuts and drastic reductions to sick days, holidays, and vacations. Fighting back for their families, and for working people and union members everywhere, they provided an example and inspiration to us all. Brynwood launched its vendetta against NY unions in 2006, after buying the plant. First it busted the Teamster drivers; then went after Local 50 bakers and packers. These attacks are part of a pattern of concessionary bargaining across the country. Their fight is our fight – a fight for all working people facing givebacks in the face of the economic crisis and greedy employers.
Today, we call on the entire union movement to mobilize to stop the October closing of the Stella D’Oro plant! Battered and blackmailed by Wall Street rip-off artists, we can’t afford to let another bunch of unscrupulous bosses destroy union jobs, pay, and benefits. The time is now to draw the line and mobilize the power of workers and communities in the Bronx, throughout NYC, and beyond, to save the Stella D’Oro plant. Unions and other organizations must pledge to mobilize their forces in this fight.
Union brothers and sisters: take a stand for workers’ rights, solidarity, & unionism. Support the Stella D’Oro workers’ fight to save jobs and stop union-busting. If the bosses can do it to them, they’ll do it to us all. Union officials, stewards, delegates and members– as well as the AFL-CIO, whose 2009 convention is about to begin : take a stand for this basic principle – an injury to one is an injury to all! Unions should pass a resolution like this model:
“This union [or federation] commits to mobilizing its members to support the fight against the closure of the Stella D’Oro plant. As the company has now announced it will shut down the plant, we pledge to bring out our members to support actions the Stella D’Oro workers take to defend their jobs and keep the plant open.”