Labor

A who’s who of the elected officials at the Hunts Point strike

The strike at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the South Bronx brought out a lot of political star power.

The first strike in over 30 years at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the South Bronx was a resounding success.

The first strike in over 30 years at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the South Bronx was a resounding success. Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

The first strike in over 30 years at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the South Bronx was a resounding success. On Jan. 23, after organizing outdoors in the cold for almost a full week, workers at the distribution center represented by Teamsters Local 202 were able to celebrate a new contract with hourly raises, better health benefits, and forthcoming one-time bonuses. Before the agreement, the strike had also evolved into a place to see and be seen for many New York City politicians. A crowd of elected officials flocked to support the workers, and add their star power to the existing infamy of Scabby the inflatable rat. 

These were some of the high-profile visits:

Armed with Bustelo, hot chocolate and hand warmers, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought national attention to the Hunts Point strike, and on Inauguration Day, no less. On another night, she gave out pizza next to Scabby the rat.

Rep. Ritchie Torres showed up in the congressional district that just elected him, with his preferred mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. 

Other mayoral candidates, including Dianne Morales and Maya Wiley, also made appearances. 

Assembly Member Amanda Septimo was there every day of the strike in her Assembly District, and she reached out directly to Governor Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Policy, Dana Carotenuto Rico. Septimo told City & State that she’s “really grateful to the governor’s office for getting involved, because he brought both sides back to the table.” 

Other sources on background agreed that calls from the governor’s office were essential in getting management to settle with the workers, and Rafael Salamanca even shouted out Cuomo in a victory tweet

Along with representing its City Council district, Rafael Salamanca has a personal connection to Hunts Point Market: his father used to work there, and was a member of Local 202. 

The New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America were all over the strike, catering breakfast and serving hot pizza to hungry workers on the picket line. DSA-endorsed Assembly Members Zohran Mamdani of Queens and Marcela Mitaynes of Brooklyn, and state Sen. Jabari Brisport of Brooklyn joined Septimo on the fifth night to hand out some New York slices. 

We’ve included a more expansive list of elected officials we’ve confirmed joined the strike, but it was a large demonstration, and odds are there are more we haven’t identified yet. Others, like state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (who represents Hunts Point Market) didn’t attend in person but did show their support online.

Congress:

Carolyn Maloney 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ritchie Torres 

NY Senate:

Jabari Brisport

Diane Savino

NY Assembly:

Khaleel Anderson

Kenny Burgos

Robert Carroll

Nathalia Fernandez

Jessica González-Rojas

Zohran Mamdani

Marcela Mitaynes 

Victor Pichardo

Karina Reyes

Amanda Septimo

City Council:

Vanessa Gibson

Brad Lander

Farah Louis

Rafael Salamanca 

NEXT STORY: How Cuomo wants to raise revenues

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