Community leaders will be demonstrating with hundreds of supporters in front of the Jewel grocery store, part of one of Chicago’s largest grocery chain, located at Roosevelt and Wabash in Chicago this Wednesday, April 16th. The rally is set to begin at noon.
A delegation will visit the store’s manager to demand that the chain pull all Azteca Foods products from their shelves and support the national boycott until the strike has ended.
Jewel Stores management has refused to numerous Azteca workers’ requests for a meeting to explain the strike situation or to endorse the boycott. Earlier this year, the Hyde Park Food Co-op voted to support the consumer boycott of Azteca.
The rally is being held as striking Azteca workers seek to expand the national consumer boycott of Azteca tortillas, tortilla shells, chips and Buena Vida tortillas.
The workers have been on strike since September 30, 2002 in protest of Azteca’s abuse of workers’ rights. After nine months of negotiations with the union, workers are still without a contract.
Chicago-based Azteca is one of the nation’s largest and most successful tortilla producers. Azteca’s CEO Art Velasquez is a prominent leader in the Chicago business and Latino communities.
The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against Azteca for trying to fire its workers for participating in a peaceful protest, interrogation of its workers, and illegal surveillance of union activity. Azteca is seeking to increase by 700% what workers pay for health insurance while offering the majority of workers 5-cent raises.
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