Last Wednesday morning, in a show of unity and strength, meat workers at the stores conducted a ULP strike for a few hours to let Trade Fair ownership know that they were serious about being treated fairly in the workplace. After making the point that they would not tolerate Trade Fair ignoring labor laws, the meat workers offered to unconditionally return to work. Management refused to take them back, quickly turning the brief strike into a lockout.
Since the lockout began, many customers have supported Local 342’s picket line, refusing to shop at Trade Fair stores until the meat workers are brought back. However, for those who have continued to shop there, they have told locked out workers that they are disappointed with the quality of meat products they have purchased in the stores. Additionally, locked out workers also witnessed the company unloading goat and lamb carcasses from the floor of a trailer into a dirty shopping cart. This act can be seen on the Local 342’s social media pages.
“We believe Trade Fair’s behavior, including actions related to possible unacceptable food practices, disrespectful treatment of union members, and harassment of locked out workers on the picket line, are not only unacceptable, but an embarrassment to the Queens community,” a Union spokesperson from their Communications Department said. “We will continue to explore every legal venue to ensure that these members are returned to work, and treated fairly under the law,” the spokesperson concluded.