SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — “Morale is good, nobody has walked in,” strike leader Miguel Perez told the Militant Jan. 3, “even though the company canceled our insurance at the end of December.” The strike by 175 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 37 members, the majority women, at the Rich Products-owned Jon Donaire Desserts is in its ninth week.
Strikers on Dec. 17 overwhelmingly rejected the company’s latest offer of a 50-cent per hour annual raise and a steep hike in health care coverage costs. No negotiations have taken place since.
Marta Montéz, who has worked at the plant for a year and a half, was one of the 15 workers on picket duty, Jan. 3, above. “Our issues remain respect, decent pensions, and pay,” she said.
Magdalena Torrez joined the discussion, saying, ”The company has no respect for the family. They refuse to give time off for medical appointments, or other family problems. They make us work 10, 11 hours a day.
“My pay is $17.45 an hour. You can’t live on that. Now they want us to pay over $500 for an individual’s health care and over $800 for me and my husband,” she said.