Workers at Hunts Point Market won a raise they said was deserved for risking their health to supply New York City with food.
It is the country’s largest wholesale produce market — described as “Costco on steroids” — and the nerve center for New York City’s food supply, providing more than half the fruits and vegetables that end up in takeout boxes and on restaurant plates and supermarket shelves.
But a strike over demands for a $1-per-hour raise at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, the first in over three decades, dented its operations, leaving some produce to rot and threatening to snarl a normally seamless supply chain.
The last strike, in 1986, led to shortages of produce, including artichokes and grapes.
This time, workers, members of a powerful Teamsters local, ended their strike on the seventh day of their walkout, ratifying a new three-year contract that provides the biggest pay increase in over 30 years, union officials said.
Under the terms of the deal, the hourly wage will rise by 70 cents the first year, 50 cents the second and 65 cents the third year. The union had sought $1-per-hour increases for each of those years, while the market’s management, a cooperative made up of 29 vendors, countered with an offer of an hourly raise of 32 cents raise every year.