January 17, 2018 / 2:55 PM / 6 months ago

Strike averted at New York's main fruit and vegetable market

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A work stoppage at a market that supplies much of New York City’s fresh fruit and vegetables was averted early on Wednesday when negotiators tentatively reached a pay deal as the previous contract expired, the labor union said.

Employees at the sprawling Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market in the city’s Bronx borough had been prepared to go on strike for the first time since 1986 if there was no agreement before the contract expired at midnight.

The deal reached overnight covers 1,100 warehouse workers, drivers and other employees, according to the Teamsters Local 202, the employees’ union.

Teamsters spokesman Alex Moore declined to share details of the agreement, saying union members will vote on it later in the week.

“Workers are reporting to work as usual,” Moore wrote in an email.

The workers had previously rejected a management offer of a pay rise of 30 cents an hour.

The 35 produce merchants at the market are represented in negotiations by the New York Produce Trade Association. A spokesman for the association did not immediately respond to questions.

The market serves as the city’s central distribution point for fruit and vegetables shipped in from all over the world and headed to grocery stores, restaurants and hotels.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen and Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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