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Update: union approves deal to end walkout at key New York-area produce market

Big site for truck traffic was operating during the week while Teamsters members manned picket lines

Photo: Claudia Irizarry Aponte/THE CITY/with permission

(Adding ratification by workers)

Striking workers at the Hunts Point market in New York have ratified a new three-year contract, ending a strike that began last Sunday.

The strike by about 1,400 workers, most of whom worked on the docks and other loading facilities at the giant produce market, began last Sunday at 12:01 a.m. The entity that was struck, the Hunts Point Produce Market, is a cooperative of the many produce dealers that operate out of the facility in the southern Bronx, near both water terminals and Interstate 95.

The Teamsters announced the deal late Friday. The union that walked out is Teamsters Local 202.

When the strike hit, the dispute was said to be over a pay stalemate between the union’s request for a $1-per-hour raise and management’s offer of a 32-cents-per-hour raise. According to local press reports, workers will receive a 70 cents per hour raise in the first year of the three-year deal, rising to $1.85 in the third year.

Workers at Hunts Point made $18-$21 per hour under the three-year deal that just expired.

Hunts Point services as many as 30,000 trucks per day. It is a key distribution hub for produce coming into the New York area and being shipped out to other areas in the Northeast.

The strike became higher profile in the New York area during the week when U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose 14th Congressional District includes the Hunts Point market, skipped the inauguration of President Joe Biden Wednesday to picket with the Teamsters members.

The market continued to operate during the week. There had not been any media reports of spot shortages of produce in New York-area grocery stores.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.