Hundreds to Rally at Agata & Valentina and Demand Union Activist Be Re-Hired

Grocery Workers Union Brings Campaign to Organize Fine Food Markets to Manhattan’s East Side;

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (05/26/2009)(readMedia)– On Wednesday afternoon, May 27th, hundreds of New Yorkers will rally outside of Agata & Valentina, an upscale market that sells fine foods at high prices, to call for improved working conditions, fair wages, and compliance with health and safety regulations. The Union, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, also charges that A&V has violated their workers’ rights under Federal Labor law.

Earlier this month Agata & Valentina fired an employee who had sought assistance in improving his workplace from United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. On Wednesday, neighborhood groups, concerned shoppers, and UFCW members from around New York will join community leaders in calling on Agata & Valentina to rescind the termination of the fired employee and to make a statement acknowledging the right of workers to organize free from harassment and intimidation.

“All is NOT fine at A&V” stated Patrick Purcell, Director of Special Projects for UFCW Local 1500. “A&V is using the standard fine food market playbook that calls for employers to make huge profits by charging inflated prices, sharing as little of the profits with the workers as possible and then firing those who seek the help of the Union to improve their lives,” Purcell continued. ” What they fail to realize is that communities do not think there is anything fine about this business practice,” Purcell claimed. “In fact, New Yorkers are fed up with this type of greed and demanding better from stores in their neighborhoods. The campaign at A&V will unite workers and consumers like never before” Purcell concluded.

The community rally will take place at the following time and location:

WHAT: Nothing ‘Fine’ About It Rally

WHEN: 3:30pm, Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WHERE: Agata & Valentina, 1505 1st Ave @ 79th St, New York, NY

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 is based out of Queens Village and represents 23,000 grocery workers in the Metropolitan New York area including but not limited to Pathmark, Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, D’agastinos, Fairway and Gristedes.

UFCW Local 1500’s campaign to organize fine food markets has resulted in the successful unionization of Jefferson Markets in The Village, the return of over one million dollars in back wages for workers at Amish Markets and the closing of two anti-union Balducci’s grocery stores.

Press Release Archives