Sometimes David does beat Goliath. Or lets the giant know it’s been in a fight. On strike and locked out for more than 11 months, 134 Bronx, N.Y. bakery workers—almost all new immigrants from Latin America—employed at the last Stella D’Oro bakery in the nation won a June 30 Administrative Law Judge decision forcing management to call them back to work at their previous salaries and benefit scale. The fight’s not over, though, as they return without a new contract and in the face of a corporate threat to close the plant within 90 days and relocate it, presumably out of state.
In announcing the projected closing, company managers cried poor-mouth blaming the national recession for an inability to offer the same level of wages and benefits it provided in better times.
The newly returned strikers are mulling over their possibilities, ranging from a second NLRB challenge and locating a new buyer to organizing a workers cooperative. And the lesson of last year’s successful Chicago window-plant occupation runs through their minds, as it does to management and local police.