HAPPENING NOW : Protest at Global Supermarket in Jackson Heights ; owner fired all workers before Christmas. pic.twitter.com/lvLNyU96wK— Bold Progress NYC (@boldprogressnyc) January 30, 2014
About 2 dozen union members, neighborhood residents, and members of Occupy Queens stood outside the new Global Supermarket at 75-07 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, to protest this morning the new supermarket owner, who refused to rehire former supermarket employees. The supermarket changed hands after the former owner, then operating under the name of Trade Fair, fired all of its employees and shut down right before Christmas in an ultimate act of union-busting against its employees.
Union employees at Trade Fair had been demanding better working conditions, and the supermarket had become the site of many demonstrations last year. Some of last year's demonstrations had even attracted mayoral candidates, including former Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who spoke at one protest last April :
Because the labor problems have dragged on from the previous owner to the successive owner at the Jackson Heights location, it was important to former Trade Fair employees that Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens) showed up this morning in a sign of solidarity with the former employees.
Some activists, including Congressman Crowley, distributed flyers, informing the community about the corrupt actions of the new supermarket owner. Other activists collected signatures on a petition, demanding that Global Supermarket rehire the former Trade Fair workers. Some of the former Trade Fair employees had been members of a local service union, Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW.
During this morning's protest, few neighbors walked in Global Supermarket. If local residents continue to express their disapproval with the new owner, perhaps the new owner will make the commercially-responsible decision : to rehire the former Trade Fair employees ? Otherwise, the store may fail anew -- and end up closed, for good.