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Advocacy Group Holds Protest at Associated

Dec. 13, 2010 Staff Report

About 50 people from various worker advocacy groups held a rally outside Associated Marketplace on Greenpoint Ave. on Friday alleging that management is not paying overtime or minimum wages.

The group targeted four supermarkets on Friday, three in Brooklyn and the Associated in Sunnyside.  Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer was among the participants.

The New York Communities for Change slapped one of the Brooklyn supermarkets with a lawsuit and the organizer of that group said the group plans to file a suit against Associated.

Ramon Duran, the manager of Associated (at Greenpoint and 44th), said he was surprised to see the group and Van Bramer protesting outside. “We pay overtime to our employees, we meet all New York requirements,” he said. “We have proof of that.”

Duran said, “What proof do they have? I’m going to have to talk to him [Van Bramer] because whatever they are saying is not true.”

The New York Communities for Change did not respond to phone calls on this issue.

Meanwhile, Van Bramer’s press office said in a statement:

“Council Member Van Bramer was invited to attend a rally by two organizations that have had a long history for advocating on behalf of the rights of workers and immigrants. The Council Member is always happy to support efforts that advance justice and at the rally spoke about those principles and did not touch upon the specific case highlighted at the rally.

“Any local issue is of great concern to the Council Member and he has already scheduled meetings with the Associated Supermarket and other parties to discuss the issue at hand.”

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I guess we don’t have the facts to choose sides! Also, it doesn’t matter that they “employ considerably more people than any other supermarket in Sunnyside ” if they’re not paying what their workers legally deserve. It could be good for our communities, but it’s bad for the workers and their families. One thing can’t justify the other.


I love the new renovation. But I gotta tell you, Key Foods customer service is MUCH better (at least in my experience)


I love the new renovation. But I gotta tell you, Key Foods customer service is MUCH better (at least in my experience)


I have no knowledge of the wages, but Associated appears to employ considerably more people than any other supermarket in Sunnyside (and perhaps of any type of store in Sunnyside), which is beneficial for the community and for Associated’s customers. With its recent renovations and enlarged stock, it is something to be proud of.


Yes Roger, I also believe the supermarket manage…not that tacky non-profit advocacy group who is clearly protesting the working conditions of a grocery for store…for….something nefarious reason that is completely unknown. People who earn far beyond the minimum wage often forget what it is like when you’re making near it. And I have enough faith that if a well respected advocacy organization with a pretty good track record on this kind of stuff is arguing that if this store is doing something illegal and protesting it, there is probably some merit to their argument.

Roger_the _Shrubber

I believe the supermarket manager. It sounds to me like somebody’s just trying to stir up trouble and cash in on a lawsuit. Don’t local small businesses have it tough enough lately without this kind of nonsense.


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