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New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined a picket line in the Bronx on Wednesday to support food and manufacturing workers.
The congresswoman was spotted bringing boxes of Bustelo coffee and hand warmers to workers of the Hunts Point Produce Market, who are on strike for the fourth day.
“There is no working person in New York City that I can think of, that would think that what you’re doing is wrong,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd.
“Everybody’s behind you!”
The employees, who are part of Teamsters Local 202, voted to go on strike Sunday after contract negotiations with management broke down.
Union workers argue that while most of them made an hourly wage of between $18 and $21 during the coronavirus pandemic — the market pocketed more than $15 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.
They are asking for a raise of $1 an hour and increased healthcare coverage to meet rising costs, according to PIX11.
“It’s embarrassing that a corporation enjoying pandemic profits, millions in PPP & more in tax giveaways is fighting a $1 raise for essential workers who‘ve risked their lives all year to feed us,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday night.
“It’s time we stand up for essential workers everywhere.”
Other local officials, such as New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, were also spotted at the picket line Wednesday.
A representative for the market — which has offered the workers a 32-cent raise — told News12 that the pandemic has hurt business, with sales dropping 30 percent since the spring.
“We are disappointed that the union walked away from the bargaining table more than a week ago and have chosen to focus instead on having employees walk off the job, which negatively impacts its members and the community,” the rep said in a statement.
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