The Connecticut-based private equity firm Brynwood Partners, who owns Stella D'oro Biscuit Co. plant, walked out of the negotiations with its workers on August 13, 2008. Brynwood Partner's demands were draconian. They wanted, among other things, that workers accept a 25% cut in wages; the elimination of Saturday overtime; and an increase in health insurance premiums. The company also proposed eliminating four holidays, one week of vacation, and all 12 paid sick days workers received.
The workers of Stella D'oro, using their last resource to fight for their rights, went on strike and remained on a strike for close to a year; in front of the Stella D'oro Bakery located in the Bronx, New York. All the workers of Stella D'oro fought for their rights while Brynwood Partners hired scabs to work at the Stella D'oro factory.
But, in June of 2009, a court demanded that the owners of Brynwood Negotiate with the workers and stated that the workers had to be recognized and the scabs let go. But Brywood Partners, doing what they do best, released a statement saying that, based on the court's decision, they were going to shut the factory down and move out of state to a state where unions were not recognized and where they could skim worker's rights. Now, the workers of the Stella D'oro factory need your support... and that is why we come to you now... the customers of Stella D'oro to help deliver a petition to Brynwood Partners.
Please, as a customer of Stella D'oro, sign the Petition below and let the owners of Stella D'oro Biscuit Co. know that you find it unconscionable they have forced their workers out on the street, on strike, as a last resort at fair negotiations. And, that even after the court decided in favor of the workers... you can't believe Brynwood Partners and Stella D'oro are going to pack up, lay off the workers and move to a town where they can comfortably set up shop again and hire non-union workers for less wages and even lesser rights.
By signing the petition, which the Committee in Support of the Stella D'oro Strikers will deliver to Brynwood Parnters in Connecticut, you will show your support of the boycott for ALL Stella D'oro products until Brynwood Partners decides to keep their factory open in the Bronx and until the workers have received a fair settlement of their grievances. Thank you for your support of the workers and their rights.
We the undersigned, the population who purchases your products, are writing to you, Brynwood Partners and Stella D'oro Biscuit Co., on behalf of the workers of Stella D'oro factory in the Bronx, N.Y.
We find it unconscionable that you walked out of negotiations on August 13th, 2008 and refused to meet with the workers of the Stella D'oro Plant located on 237th Street and Broadway in Bronx, NY. By taking such actions, you forced the workers to go on strike for almost a year and then, during the strike, you quickly resorted to union busting and hired scabs to run the plant.
I understand that you, the people of Brynwood Partners, wanted the workers to accept a 25% cut in wages, the elimination of Saturday overtime and an increase in health insurance premiums. You also proposed eliminating four holidays, one week of vacation, and all 12 paid sick days. This is why the workers went on strike, because you would not negotiate with them.
But, recently, a New York court ruled in favor of the workers and demanded that you must sit with the workers and fairly negotiate with them.
Except now Brynwood Partners, doing what you do best, has announced the closing of the Stella D'oro factory in the Bronx so that you can move to another state, comfortably set up shop and hire non-union workers for less wages and even lesser rights. You are, of course, ignoring the court order. While everyone else chooses to obey the law, you choose to skip out of state. You want to continue practices of suppressing worker's rights, all in favor of profits for your CEO's and wealthy investors.
Until Stella D'oro and Brynwood Partners sits and negotiates with the workers, and until you decide to keep the Stella D'oro factory in the Bronx open and fully operational, I will support the boycott of ALL Stella D'oro products. You must have the courage to recognize what the law ordered you to do... give the workers a fair settlement of their grievances and negotiate with them. Further, keep the Stella D'oro plant, located in the Bronx, open and fully operational with the workers. These workers have sacrificed years with your company and they have families to feed, you must recognize them and their sacrifices. Until you do as the law ordered you to do, I will boycott all Stella D'oro products.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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