Support for Stella D’oro strikers
NEW YORK--Some 200 people gathered at St. Mary's Church in Harlem on April 4 for a cultural fundraising event for the strikers at the Stella D'oro factory in the Bronx. The workers, members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 50, have been on strike since August of last year.
The evening featured performances by artists who support the strikers, such as the New York City Labour Chorus, Rebel Diaz and La Lucha. Two of the most outspoken strikers were onhand to speak: Sarah Rodriguez and Mike Filippou.
A member of the CGT union federation in France came and gave solidarity greetings to the crowd, as well as members of the Professional Staff Congress (the union of CUNY professors). The event raised more than $4,500 for strikers.
The fundraiser came on the heels of an important development--a few weeks ago, Stella management came to a union meeting and announced that the picketing, rallies and boycotts were having a real effect, and the company has lost a lot of money in sales becase of the strike.
Management was trying to appeal to workers' sympathies to get them back on the job, but workers didn't buy it. They called management's announcement "crocodile tears," because Brynwood Partners, which owns Stella, still isn't willing to negotiate a better contract.
The evening concluded with dancing and food, with attendees vowing to continue to support this strike until it's won.