Justice, Mishegas

Crumble in The Bronx

Cookies, that is. Seems that the bad folks at Brynwood Partners, owners of Stella D’oro, aren’t taking the NLRB decision that they’ve screwed over the 134 workers at their Bronx factory lying down. From the JM Times:

Last week, a federal judge ordered Stella D’oro to reinstate 134 workers after a protracted 10-month strike. This week, the company invited the workers back. It also announced that it would close the factory in October.”
“The decision to close the Bronx bakery operations has not been made in haste or without significant planning,” a statement from the management said. Operations will be moved elsewhere and the products would continue, the statement said.

Ah yes. They had plenty of time to figure out how to shutter this factory and move it elsewhere, by refusing to bargain with the union for 10 months and then, easily plan their escape. This looks like a pretty standard union-busting move here: demand massive pay concessions that you know are not fair, and either you get them and break the union, or you get enough cover to plan a move elsewhere and break the union.
Also, important to note that the NLRB administrative law judge ruled the company refused to bargain fairly with the union. And there is no punishment for them leaving these 134 workers out to dry. No penalty strong enough to compel them to treat their workers with respect. This same attitude towards is workers is just another example of why we need labor law reform like the Employee Free Choice Act. If it was easier to organize around the country, this tactic would be less effective.
One thing’s for sure: Stella D’Oro joins Disney and Coke on my treyf list.

9 thoughts on “Crumble in The Bronx

  1. Glad to see someone taking this poitn I view. I was disturbed by comments tweeted elsewhere that were simply lamenting the potential loss of pareve cookies. I think the far more important issue here are the ethics, and yes, not only Stella D’oro, but the parent company, should be boycotted by anyone looking to follow ethical kashrut practices.

  2. Curious to know why Coke and Disney are on your treyf list. I’ve heard of the right-wing Christians who boycott Disney over it’s “advocacy for the homosexual lifestyle.” I’m hoping that isn’t your reason. And on Coke, I’ve heard about concerns around union organizing at bottling plants in Columbia. But am I missing something else?
    Of course, both are huge multi-national corporations that contribute to the homogenization of local cultures worldwide and spread insipid entertainment and unhealthy beverages. But so do dozens upon dozens of other companies. So why single out Coke and Disney?

  3. But think about how many illegal immigrants would have been displaced had this bakery not closed. This way they still have a shot at a job.

  4. Hi Adrian, appreciate the love. Yeah, far more important things than pareve cookies.
    Hi Gregg,
    With respect to Coke and Disney, coke doesn’t just union bust, they union kill. check out killercoke.org for more. And Disney is one of the worst employers out there. From the people who make the tee shirts that bear their character’s image to the people that play those characters at the parks, to tv show actors, writers, and pit musicians for broadway shows, they do their best to stick it to all their employees. So no, their positions on “the homosexual lifestyle” are neither here nor there for me. Rather, I wish they were as tolerant to their employees on all fronts as they were to folks of varying orientations who pay to use their park.
    Hi Formermuslim. I don’t quite get the point of your post. Feel free to add something meaningful to the conversation, though.

  5. Ruby K
    I don’t know if you’ve noticed but this website is fanatically for open borders and pro-illegal immigration, which has been a curse on the United States. It negatively impacts everything from the environment to health care to workers rights.
    All of them liberal talking points. While this massive destruction of the American society is taking place you whine about 134 workers in a bakery.
    I understand. 100 unemployed is a tragedy. A million is a statistic. And it’s hard to stroke your social justice ego with statistics.

    1. this website is fanatically for open borders and pro-illegal immigration
      Ha gufa kashya. If you’re “for open borders”, that means you support changing the laws so that immigration is legal, and therefore you’re not “pro-illegal immigration”.

  6. Hi fomrermuslim,
    I don’t know if _you’ve_ noticed, but there are a group of people here with differing viewpoints and opinions. If you’ve got problems with specific views on specific issues, feel free to discuss them when they’re being addressed.
    And yeah, I’m talking about 134 people. Or 134 worlds, if you like. And the Stella D’oro factory is in the Bronx, near my house. that it’s happening to a smaller number of people doesn’t make it any less valid or important. Maybe if it was you, or someone in your family or a friend, that was out on strike for nearly a year and came back to work to find the company was shuttering the plant because you were fighting for a decent wage, maybe then you’d feel differently. Feeling strongly about one issue shouldn’t preclude compassion or justice on others.

  7. Ruby K,
    I agree with you. The company should have raised wages, then raised prices for its products to compensate, bled cash for 6 months as its top 10 wholesale customers switch to cheaper competitors, and then shut the bakery down completely. At least this way someone else will get those jobs.
    I run a small business. Workers can protest as they see fit, but the role of business is not to provide them with jobs, it’s to make money for the owners. I personally took massive risks to start my business, and continue to do so in the most unpredictable, depressed business climate since the great depression.
    Employee costs are the single biggest liability in my business, and in most businesses. I haven’t had to fire anyone yet, and I am not looking forward to that day, but I can definitely see myself making investments in equipment that can make some of my employees obsolete. Making a contribution to the lives of your employees is fantastic, giving charity to worthy causes is great, subsidizing the tax base is… well, mandatory, but none of this is possible if the business doesn’t make money.
    I don’t know the details of this particular business, or the demands on workers and management, but I can tell you that unionization thug tactics is not the answer. Every business will make some concessions when confronted with a strike; the consequences of not doing so are just too costly. If after one year of being on strike the workers couldn’t make a compromise with the company, that sounds a lot like uncompromising thug tactics to me, and no business owner should have to deal with that nonsense.

  8. Ruby K
    Maybe their negotiating position would be stronger if it wasn’t for the tsunami of immigration into the US, of people willing to work for much less than citizens.
    So yes, you say you care, but at the very next immigration related article you plan on posting on this website, you should stop and think of the thousands of communities in America that do not have the privilege of living near such a concerned activist.
    We both want the same thing ultimately, Ruby K.

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