By Cameron Fure
MNA Political Organizer
It’s Super Bowl week, and the mayhem has swept up the Twin Cities. The whole region is sprucing up and getting ready for the big game. It’s our chance to bask in the spotlight, and host one of the largest sporting events in the world. The North Star state is known the world over for its hospitality, but there’s a few things that visitors do not know. The story of the Franklin Street Bakery workers isn’t likely to appear in any halftime commercial.
Owner Wayne Kostroski wants to be known as a philanthropist, business mogul, and model citizen. He cities his participation in the “Taste of the NFL” events to feed the hungry. His actions in his own company tell a much different story. Kostroski’s employees say they get no paid holidays, no affordable health care, and little to no opportunity for advancement. They also report that they’re paid low wages, have no time off for illness or bereavement, and do not get raises.
In this video, for example, Maria Ortiz said she was hired to work for $11 an hour. “They told me after three months I would get a raise of 50 cents more,” she said, “but I never did.” His union-busting tactics against his staff have led to roughly 50 labor charges that allege:
- Interrogating employees about their union activities
- Creating the impression of surveillance of employees’ union activities
- Threatening employees with plant closure because of their union activities
- Implementing policies that prohibit employees from talking at work
- Threatening employees
- Sending employees home early for conducting union activity.
The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union (BCTGM) will host an event the same day as Kostroski’s Taste of The NFL in Saint Paul. Celebrity chefs and bigwigs from around the country will attend this event. BCTGM workers be rallying outside, and allies, including MNA nurses, are being asked to join in solidarity.
What: A Taste of Justice
When: February 3, , from 5 -8p.m.
Where: St. Paul Regional Labor Federation 353 W. 7th Street
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/396306020804797/
The goal is to raise money for local food shelves that Franklin Street Bakery workers visit, assist other struggling families, and march from the St. Paul Labor Federation to the Taste of NFL event to show Kostroski that hard-working Minnesotans will not stand for injustice!
Let’s send a clear message that MNA nurses stand in solidarity with Franklin Street Bakery workers and that an attack on one of us is an attack on us all!