Since its opening in the late nineties the Golden Farm Supermarket on Church Ave in Brooklyn hasn’t paid minimum wage or overtime. That situation changed when workers, with the support of New York Communities for Change, filed a lawsuit on March 2011 to demand back wages and basic benefits like sick days, paid vacation and a contract that guarantees job security.
After months of organizing, on May 2, 2012 workers voted to form a union. However, the owner, Mr. Sonny Kim, still refuses to pay the back wages he owes to workers and to sign a contract that will give all workers basic benefits and continued protection on the job.
On July 12, 2012, Felix Trinidad, one of the longest working employees at Golden Farm, passed away at the age of 34. Due to the lack of paid sick days, health insurance, and barely making enough to support him and his young family, Felix waited for months to go see a doctor. Throughout his illness he continued to attend meetings, continued to organize his co-workers and tirelessly fought for justice at his workplace.
Despite this tragedy, workers are still organizing, and need your support! Starting August 18, 2012 workers are organizing weekend picket lines, asking the community to boycott Golden Farm until Sonny Kim agrees to pay workers the wages he owes and signs a contract.
On September 20, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board certified that the majority of the workers at the store voted in favor of RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 to be their collective bargaining agent at Golden Farm. This means that Sonny Kim is obligated to negotiate in good faith with workers for a contract.
After telling the workers that he would never pay them their back pay, the worker committee and NYCC are happy to announce that a settlement was reached and that Mr. Kim has been forced to acknowledge that he did in fact pay his workers BELOW minimum wage for many years and will be returning a significant portion of those wages to them.
These are huge victories but workers are not stopping the boycott and picket. The only way to guarantee the workers’ rights is by having everything in a contract because the store owner has proven that he cannot be trusted on his own to do the right thing for his workers. The boycott is to pressure store owner Sonny Kim to sit down and negotiate a fair contract with paid sick days with his workers—something he is required to do! Mr. Kim can end the boycott right now by simply doing the right thing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Pledge your support for the boycott.
- Sign up for a shift at the picket line: Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm and Sat/Sun 10am-8pm. Golden Farm is at 329 Church Ave. Brooklyn.
- Call Sonny Kim, the owner of Golden Farm – (718) 871-1009, and tell him you support the workers and the boycott.
- Sign the petition demanding Sonny Kim pay workers their back wages and sign a fair contract.
- Donate to support the family of Felix Trinidad.
Press coverage of the campaign: