November 22 Day of Action in Philadelphia, Florida and Texas to protest union busting by Fresh Del Monte Produce N.A. Inc.

PHILADELPHIA--Protesting the loss of 200 union longshore jobs in the Port of Philadelphia, Friends and Families of International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Local 1291 will rally November 22 against Fresh Del Monte Produce N.A. Inc. in downtown Philadelphia and at Fresh Del Monte facilities in Manatee-Palmetto and Coral Gables, Florida., as well as Galveston, Texas.

These actions—along with a call for a boycott from the ILA—comes in response to Fresh Del Monte's decision to shift work from the terminal worked by ILA Local 1291 members in Camden, N.J., to a private facility where wages are approximately half the levels paid to ILA members.

Fresh Del Monte made this move even though government authorities offered $25 million in infrastructure improvements, additional acreage for the terminal at no cost and a near 50 percent reduction on electricity bills. In addition, the ILA responded by offering labor concessions worth $5 million. Even so, on October 1, Del Monte directed fruit shipments to a Gloucester, N.J., terminal owned by the Holt family.

Fresh Del Monte's refusal to accept concessions is evidence that the company's real aim isn't simply to lower costs, but to break the ILA. "This collusion by Del Monte with the Holt family to get more profit is more than disrespect—it is total disregard for working families and local government," said Boise Butler, president of ILA Local 1291. "It is union busting."

Fresh Del Monte's anti-labor action has spurred a response by the Friends and Families of Local 1291. "Del Monte has literally sold the jobs that sustain our communities downriver," the group said in its Call to Action for November 22. "They have shown total disregard for the efforts of local government to preserve family-sustaining union jobs."

A wide range of labor, community and social justice organizations have joined Friends and Families of ILA Local 1291 in calling for justice from Fresh Del Monte. These include the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on the West Coast, the International Transport Workers Federation, the International Dockworkers Council, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, Denver Area Labor Federation, the Colorado Progressive Coalition, American Federation of Teachers Colorado, and many more.

The November 22 actions are meant to highlight the call for a boycott of Fresh Del Monte, a major supplier of fresh fruit to supermarket chains across the U.S.

Events scheduled include:

PHILADELPHIA— Speak-out and protest, Monday, November 22, 11:00 am. Location: Love Park, John F. Kennedy Blvd and North 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

CORAL GABLES, FL—Informational picket line, Monday, November 22, 11:00 am. Location: Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. N.A. Inc., 241 Sevilla Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33134-6600

MANATEE-PALMETTO, FL.—Informational picket line, Monday, November 22, 11:00 am. Location: 200 Delmonte Way, Palmetto, FL 34221

GALVESTON, TX.,—Informational picket line, Monday, November 22, 11:00 am. Location: Port of Galveston, Wharf Road and 22nd St., Piers 16-18

DENVER—Public delegation to City Council, Monday, November 22, 5:30 pm. Location: Denver City and County Building, 1 Bannock Street, Denver, Colo., Room 450

CONTACT: Gwen Snyder, Friends and Families of ILA Local 1291

Office phone: (215) 670-5855 Cell phone: (908) 418-5935 E-mail: Web:

Mail: Dump Del Monte c/o Philadelphia Jobs with Justice 1315 Spruce Street, Suite 331 Philadelphia, PA 19107