A Dessert Workers Strike That Started More Than 100 Days Ago Has Come To An End
A strike by workers at a dessert maker based in Santa Fe Springs has come to an end. Employees at Jon Donaire Desserts, owned by Rich Products, have voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement.
That vote brings to an end a strike that started Nov. 3, 2021.
According to a statement released late Wednesday, union representatives for the Donaire workers said:
"This has been a long and difficult fight for our striking members and their families. With each new day on that picket line, fighting for what they deserve, our members grew in strength, courage and determination.”
“The Jon Donaire members made enormous sacrifices in order to achieve a fair contract that provides significant wage increases, maintains their excellent health insurance and improves working conditions."
The workers' fight got national attention, and drew support from elected officials, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and some L.A. County Supervisors:
After 113 long days on strike, workers at Jon Donaire Desserts in Santa Fe Springs have reached an agreement with parent company Rich's — pay raise included. They spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and every day in between on the picket line. This victory belongs to them. pic.twitter.com/hMGImJlAga— Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) February 24, 2022
Supervisor Hilda Solis also released a statement about the agreement:
"Coming from an immigrant working class family, I know the sacrifices these workers and their families have had to face as they took to the picket line for over three and a half months to demand better pay, health care, and respect."
Union representative Shad Clark said many members had to rely on credit cards or loans to get by during the strike, but that it was worth it in the end.
"We're pretty proud and happy with the results," he said. "I can say that they're going back with their heads held high, feeling like they've accomplished something."
Rich Products said in a statement today that it is happy to welcome the workers back. Company executives also said that the new contract raises wages for workers and provides competitive pay at or above the market levels in L.A. County:
"As previously agreed to in December, associates will continue their union-sponsored platinum health-insurance plan and will maintain their matched pension plan with a new union-requested funding formula. Additionally, all striking associates will receive their end-of-2021 gain-sharing bonus averaging $1,600 each, despite the 113-day work stoppage."
Back in December, decades-long Jon Donaire employees — primarily immigrant Latinas — said they were only making $16 an hour. L.A. County maintains a $15 an hour wage for businesses with 26 or more employees.