Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez spent inauguration evening supporting striking workers in New York Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation MORE (D-N.Y.) spent the evening of Inauguration Day just outside her congressional district supporting a Teamsters union strike in the Bronx.
Claudia Irizarry Aponte, a reporter with New York-focused publication “The City,” photographed the New York congresswoman bringing coffee and hand warmers to striking members of Teamsters Local 202 on Wednesday. The group, which delivers produce to Hunts Point Produce Market, began the strike Sunday night after negotiations for a raise hit a stalemate.
The congresswoman praised the strikers over a megaphone, saying they were “taking the upside down and making it right side up.”
— claudia irizarry aponte (@clauirizarry) January 21, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted her support of the strikers Wednesday night, calling it “embarrassing” that management would not agree to the demand of a $1 raise despite receiving a Paycheck Protection program loan of more than $32,000.
It’s embarrassing that a corporation enjoying pandemic profits, millions in PPP & more in tax giveaways is fighting a $1 raise for essential workers who‘ve risked their lives all year to feed us.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 21, 2021
The local union represents about 1,400 workers, while the market itself is a way station for about 60 percent of the produce that enters the city, according to WNYC. The New York Police Department, which have ensured the market’s service continues during the strike, arrested several members on charges of obstructing roads Monday night.
Local 202 President Daniel Kane Jr. blasted the arrests as “outrageous” in a statement.
“These are the essential workers who went to work every day through the worst of the pandemic to feed New York,” he said. “All they are asking for is a dollar-an-hour raise so they can feed their families too. The fact that they were arrested on Martin Luther King Day reminds us what side of history we are on.”
The Hill has reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s office for clarification on whether she opted to skip President Biden’s inauguration to be in New York for the strike.