Navigation Bar

Home -> [What's New] -> Boycott Azteca Foods ->  News & Developments -> Article

How you can help ...


Azteca workers need
your support!

  [an error occurred while processing this directive] Azteca Boycott Home
  [an error occurred while processing this directive] How You Can Help
  [an error occurred while processing this directive] Background
  [an error occurred while processing this directive] News
  [an error occurred while processing this directive] Fact Sheet
  [an error occurred while processing this directive] Products & Stores
  [an error occurred while processing this directive] Contacts & Addresses



Visit Your Retailer as part of our Retail Action ...


Phone Azteca
at 800-475-7997
and tell CEO Art Velasquez to negotiate!

more ...   


Azteca Violates the Law — Again!
Labor Board Charges
Azteca with Lawbreaking

Chicago, Il., March, 2004 — Azteca Foods has once again been charged with abusing the rights of its employees. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in its latest — and strongly worded — complaint, has accused Azteca management of illegally discriminating against union supporters and refusing to bargain with UE. The complaint, issued February 2nd in response to charges filed by UE last fall, is the most recent development in a more than two year old battle by Azteca workers to win a union contract and a voice on the job, including a seven month strike.

The charges revolve around the company’s efforts to undermine support for the union by putting UE Local 1159 supporters and former strikers on night shifts and into lower-paid work classifications and by refusing to respect its legal obligations to bargain with the union.

Local UE leaders say workers who have been at Azteca Foods for more than twenty years are being forced to work nights instead of their proper shifts, resulting in substantially increased stress to both their health and family lives. One employee reports that, since he’s been forced to work a night shift, he’s had no choice but to take his kids to sleep at a babysitters house. He worries that his wife will be forced to quit her night shift job in order to deal with their child care problems. Another worker was forced to quit after developing physical ailments, following a number of sleepless months. Several employees were forced to choose between taking a lower paid jobs or no job at all. They have more skills and seniority than other new employees, but are working at almost $2 less an hour.

The NLRB charges that Azteca Foods has discriminated against union supporters “because the striking employees of [Azteca Foods] assisted the Union and engaged in concerted activities, and to discourage employees from engaging in these activities.” The Board further asserts that Azteca “has been discriminating” in regard to hiring, firing and working conditions in order to discourage union membership and that Azteca “has been failing and refusing to bargain collectively with the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of its employees”.

Solidarity vs. Arrogance

Despite intense harassment from management, Azteca workers continue their struggle for a fair first contract. Workers have taken on the company over its discriminatory practices. Just days after the Labor Board issued its most recent allegations that Azteca has been acting illegally, Azteca management moved another striker from first shift to second, blatantly disregarding the Board’s charges. This forced the employee to leave her 13 year old son home alone until she could return from work after 11:30pm. Groups of outraged workers protested to management in with solidarity and volume that the company informed the Board that it planned to return the worker to her correct day shift immediately.

In an ironic twist to this ongoing battle, Azteca hired a workplace psychologist to help it understand why workers are so angry. In meetings with this psychologist, workers explained repeatedly that they expected Azteca and its owner, Art Velasquez, to negotiate a fair contract that does not include takeaways in their wages and benefits. They argued that they are tired of abuse and discrimination and want Mr. Velasquez to respect their rights under the law. Instead of listening to these complaints, Mr. Velasquez opted out of these meetings, just as he has refused to attend contract negotiations.

Azteca Foods has so far refused to settle the charges listed in the complaint regarding discrimination and failure to negotiate with the UE. A hearing on the complaint has been set for June. This is the third complaint issued by the NLRB against Azteca in the ongoing struggle.

[page top]

Help Azteca Workers Win
Their Struggle for Dignity and Respect!

Call Azteca today at 800-475-7997 ...
tell the company you won't buy its products
until it negotiates a fair contract!

   Contact information can be found here ...
more ways to help here

Home -> [What's New] -> Boycott Azteca Foods ->  News & Developments -> Article

 • About UE • Organize! • Independent Unions • Search • Site Guide • What's New • Contact UE
UE News • Political Action • Info for Workers • Resources • Education • Health & Safety • International • Links

“We have no dispute with any person other than Azteca Foods,
and we are not asking anyone to cease picking up, delivering or transporting
any goods, or to cease performing any work or services.”