Thanks to God and to the struggle of my compañeros. Together with our Union we achieved a fair contract with fair raises and medical insurance. – Angelica Amigon
On October 21, Maramont workers ratified a strong contract that includes substantial wage increases for everyone, quality, affordable health insurance, and enforcement of the city’s living wages laws.
The new contract is a significant victory for the Union. Working long shifts in freezers, Maramont workers prepare meals for Brooklyn schools. Until now, Maramont has refused to provide health insurance and many workers had gone years without a raise. Meanwhile, Maramont Corporation had benefited from multiple city contracts that have funneled millions of taxpayer dollars and benefits to the company which has consistently scoffed at its obligations under the NYC living wage laws.
Securing a strong contract has been a long struggle. When the Union sought to negotiate a contract in 2011, the company preferred to close the plant rather than bargain with workers. At that point, they moved their operations to Pennsylvania while continuing to receive money from NYC taxpayers.
The company returned to New York in 2012; however, since that time, it has sought to keep wages low and deny workers access to affordable care. Then in June of this year, the state Supreme Court found what the workers already knew – that Maramont had skirted its responsibility and cheated workers out of $88 million!
While Maramont continues its legal wrangling, the workers at Maramont pushed to build on this victory to secure the strong contract they deserve – a contract that ensures their rights under the living wage law and provides quality health insurance they can afford. In their effort, they reached out to City Council member Carlos Menchaca, New York Communities for Change, SEIU 32BJ members, and other allies from around the city. They told their story in the press and brought their demands to the bargaining table. Today, their success is a reminder: with workers in the lead and the solidarity of allies throughout the city, the power of the Union wins!
The words of the workers reflect the power of the victory!
Our goals and objectives met! Congratulations to Maramont! – Jose Vargas Cifuentes
We, the Haitian workers at Maramont, are so happy to have won the battle in this struggle. We say thanks for the solidarity that unites all the members of the Union that have come together to realize [this victory]. A heartfelt thanks to the Union staff. God bless you all. – Pierre Longchamps
Thanks to the Union and to my compañeros who struggled to the end to win fair pay and thanks also for getting us medical insurance. – Luciano Aguilar, Luz Maria Mendoza
For the first time, we feel satisfied by the action of the Union in standing up to the company to get a fair contract. Yes, we can! – Ramon Medrano