BRONX, N.Y. — May 30, 2009. Workers at the Stella D’Oro bakery have been on strike for over nine months. Brynwood Partners, the Wall Street equity firm that owns the factory, is using strikebreakers to operate the plant. The strikers, represented by Local 50 of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), argue that Brynwood is intent on busting the union by slashing wages, pensions, holidays and sick pay.
On Saturday, May 30, over 700 strikers and their supporters and rallied outside the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Marble Hill Houses, in the South Bronx, and then marched to the Stella D’Oro plant — located at West 237 Street and Broadway — where a second rally was held. The strikers were joined by members of several unions: New York State United Teachers, better known as NYSUT, Local 100 of the Transit Workers Union (TWU), City University’s Professional Staff Congress (PSC CUNY), the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBT), and the N.Y. Metro Postal Union (APWU).
As the protesters proceeded north on Broadway the orderly march was briefly disrupted when someone threw a bottle from an apartment building. Marchers took to the street the procession continued.
At the end of the march, members of BCTGM Local 50 came face to face with officers from the 50 Precinct outside the factory gates. Warnings were issued by police — whose actions appeared uncoordinated at the end of the march — after strikers advanced beyond the police barriers and stood outside the main entrance to the plant. Despite some tension, and a few standoffs between protesters and police, there were no arrests. The National Lawyers Guild had observers present which may have helped defuse the situation.
Strikers are on the picket line in front of the Stella D’Oro plant every day. For more information on the strike visit stelladorostrike2008.com/