On Monday more than 60 unionized meat department workers locked out of Trade Fair rallied outside the Ravenswood supermarket with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and his mother, Elizabeth, second from right, who was a meat wrapper at Key Food on 30th Avenue in Astoria.
The employees have been locked out by owner Farid Jaber, known as Frank, and management for nearly three weeks after contract negotiations broke down and they briefly struck. In its proposed contract, Trade Fair presented wage freezes, reduced hours, cuts to healthcare coverage and discontinued premium pay of time and a half on Sundays.
In the last couple of weeks Council members Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Julissa Ferreras (D-Corona) and Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) have voiced their support for the locked out workers.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342 has filed several unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, which include intimidation, threats of termination, harassment, assault and coercing of union workers and representatives for exercising their rights as union members.