Instead of participating in the pomp and circumstance of Joe Biden’s inauguration in DC, congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spent her afternoon at Costco, buying supplies for hundreds of striking New York City grocery workers.
“Hundreds are on strike at Hunts Point Market in the Bronx for a $1 raise,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a former food worker herself, wrote on Twitter “They need our support! Check out their story & thank a food worker today.”
Stocking up on Bustelo + hot chocolate to support the picket line of @TeamstersJC16 workers later!
Hundreds are on strike at Hunts Point Market in the Bronx for a $1 raise.
They need our support! Check out their story & thank a food worker today ☺️https://t.co/mrbU2dLsgI https://t.co/5IyPnYtAxp
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 20, 2021
Hundreds of union workers have been on strike since Sunday at Hunt’s Point Produce Market in The Bronx, which supplies much of New York City’s produce.
“That’s our goal, to show how essential we are to this company, how hard we work and all that we produce to make sure people have food on the table,” Manuel Soriano, who works in the market’s trucking department, told local outlet THE CITY.
Negotiations between the market and Teamsters Local 202 broke down last week, with the store refusing to accept a demand for a $1-an-hour raise, instead offering a 32-cent hourly increase. The workers, many of whom earn between $18 and $21 an hour voted to go on strike on Sunday at midnight.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Hunt’s Point Produce Market did not respond to requests for comment.
The strike is quickly becoming a city-wide flashpoint, attracting the attention of police and politicians alike.
On Tuesday, workers say more than 300 police in riot gear broke up the picket line of about 400.
“All individuals were issued summonses for Disorderly Conduct: Obstructing the Roadway and were released,” an NYPD spokesperson told The Independent.
“Our battle’s not with the NYPD, but we think they could handle this more delicately. Let’s put it that way,” Local 202 President Daniel Kane Jr. told THE CITY. “We think it was a bit of an overreaction.”
In addition to AOC, local officials as well as mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang joined the demonstrations.