Following the six-day strike, workers voted over 97 percent in favor of a new three-year contract that includes a wage increase over the course of the contract that is above the workers’ initial demand and additional health benefits at no additional costs to workers.
The strike, the first at Hunts Point since 1986, saw strong solidarity from fellow union members and multiple elected officials, gaining national attention. Train conductors, who are fellow Teamsters refused to cross the picket line, turning around over 21 train cars of merchandise on January 20. Additionally, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and New York State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo joined workers on the picket line.
The warehouses workers and drivers at Hunts Point are responsible for handling over 60 percent of all produce in New York City. Management forced them to continue working paycheck-to-paycheck in one of the most expensive cities in the country, all while risking their safety and health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It's been different this year with the pandemic, and actually seeing and knowing some of your friends that you've worked with in here for 28 years die, and then have friends of yours not coming to work because they're home quarantined, sick, makes a big difference," Hunts Point worker Francisco Flores told Gothamist/WNYC.
Now that the workers won a strong new contract, they hope the strike becomes an inspiration for other essential workers struggling during the pandemic.
"It's not often that workers take their fate in their hands, and decide to put their hands together to fight for a better tomorrow," said Teamsters Local 202 President Daniel Kane Jr. "And these folks did that. And I'm hoping that that will resonate with workers throughout this country because our members are essential, and decent, hardworking family people."