Crossposted from Fire on the Mountain
It was a rough afternoon.
At 2:00 PM yesterday, I was standing in front of City Hall in lower Manhattan, serving as an extra at a press conference for the Stella D’oro workers. After winning an arduous 11 month strike against concessions, the workers have been fighting plans by new owners Lance, Inc. to move the 78 year old bakery from the Bronx to Ashtabula, Ohio and reopen non-union.
The press conference/mini-rally had been a good one, though major media was thin on the ground, Speakers from the plant, a range of union officials and other supporters gave short sharp statements, demanding that Mayor Bloomberg do something to save Stella D’oro and its union jobs. As we were about to break up, two of the workers got hasty phone calls from the plant. Managers had told the morning shift that when they left at 3:00 PM, the bakery was shutting down!
Maybe a quarter of the 100-plus at City Hall headed up to 237th Street and Broadway, where the arriving shift had been ushered into work to empty their lockers. They were still trickling out at 3:00 when the day shift came out en masse, carrying plastic bags with whatever they had had inside. The three dozen supporters and workers outside the gate clapped as they did and there were chants that had become familiar to all from almost a year of picketing.