When a production plant that employs BCTGM members closes its doors, does the local just say farewell to those workers?
According to BCTGM Region 1 Vice President Art Montminy maintaining support of such members can pay off. Montminy says that an example of such dedication was recently exemplified by Local 102 (New York, NY).
In January, the Angonoa Bread Sticks production bakery in College Park, N.Y. announced it was permanently closing the plant. Local 102 President Raymond Aquilino stayed in contact with his members, assisting them with their unemployment issues, health insurance problems and anything else where he thought he could lend a helping hand.
The former Angonoa bakery was idled for several months and was eventually bought by JAG Specialty Foods, LLC. JAG decided to reopen the bakery but quickly discovered that experienced bakers, maintenance workers and sanitation workers were vital to making it run. The company subsequently rehired most of the former workforce. The bakers quickly signed 80 percent of the workforce on BCTGM authorization for representation cards, and JAG decided that there was no need to proceed with a National Labor Relations Board election and granted recognition instead. This plant is once again under a union contract with BCTGM Local 102 and the worker’s lives have resumed to normalcy.
Congratulations to Local 102 President Ray Aquilino and his staff for maintaining contact and assisting the BCTGM members after the bakery closed, which eventually lead to the workers regaining their jobs and their union!