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Fighting for Respect No Takeaways Fair Wages and Benefits

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


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

more ...   

Workers Stronger —
Azteca's 'Repeat Offender' Strategy Won't Work

Azteca Workers are Fighting for:

Respect for Workers' Rights
No Takeaways
Fair Wages and Benefits

In April,2002, workers at Chicago's Azteca Foods voted to form their own UE local union. Instead of respecting the democratic decision of its workers, Azteca management has spent two years becoming a 'repeat offender' — repeatedly violating U.S. labor law in an obsessive drive to destroy UE Local 1159. Its efforts have backfired. Far from weakening, Azteca workers have simply been growing stronger.

They're confronting management on shop-floor issues, successfully pressing grievances, and are engaging in spirited and united shop floor activities. They're not about to give up, regardless of management's scofflaw actions.

Azteca workers — mostly immigrant, Spanish speaking, women — remain as determined as ever to exercise their right to a have real union on the job. That struggle is covered here. We invite you to read through these pages to learn about this amazingly determined group of workers and to return here as we update these pages in the future. Azteca workers thank you for your support.


For years workers at Azteca faced verbally abusive supervisors. They faced workplace injuries like burns and rashes. They faced a corrupt company union that threatened the workers and did its best to protect the company.

In April 2002 they stood up and decided that things would be different at Azteca. They voted 3 to 1 to form a real union that would represent their interests.

In May, 2002 they sat down with the Company to try to make needed improvements. Month after month, these workers and UE tried to engage Azteca in serious negotiations.


Wants to:


Cut effective take-home pay by up to $.42 /hr by increasing health insurance costs by up to 700%

Strip current protections for seniority and overtime

Take away union rights

Strip our right of free speech

But instead of negotiating fairly, Azteca, a profitable and growing company with annual revenues of up to $33 million, insisted on cutting what workers have had for many years.

Charging that Azteca illegally violated workers rights with threats, interrogation and acts of surveillance, Azteca workers went on strike in September 2002.

In May, 2003, with charges settled (Azteca must post notices that it will obey labor law, but admits no wrongdoing), workers voted unanimously to return to work, marching together in unity to the plant office on May 5th to deliver their decision. 

During the strike, not one picketer crossed the picket line. Spirits are high and workers remain united in their determination to win a fair, first UE contract.

MORE: Background ...


Labor Board Charges Azteca with Lawbreaking ...

Open Letter Urges Azteca to Negotiate ...

[ More News ...]


Workers employed by Azteca Foods in Chicago, makers of Azteca Tortillas, voted to for their own UE local union in April, 2002.

These mostly immigrant, Spanish speaking, women, have been fighting their employer for respect and a fair, first, union contract for two years — and they're determined to win!

  Your help and support are greatly appreciated.

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Copyright © 2003 UE. All Rights Reserved
“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.”