Friday, June 3, 2016

Solidarity with workers at Zane's Cycles

Workers and community members lined the street to protest exploitative practices outside Zane’s Cycles at 330 East Main St. in Branford last weekend. Chanting "No Justice, No Bike!" the solidarity protest called on owner Chris Zane to treat workers with dignity and respect.

In September 2015, workers at Zane’s Cycles facility located a 182 Cedar St. in Branford voted overwhelmingly, under federal labor law, to bargain collectively for a workplace contract. The workers elected UFCW Local 919 to represent them in contract negotiations. Since then, Chris Zane has only agreed to meet eight times to negotiate a contract with the workers. That’s only eight negotiating sessions in eight months!!

Among the issues workers want to address, which Zane has refused to reasonably discuss, are the need for:
- A clean, sanitary break room. Workers eat their lunch in the dirty, greasy work area were they assemble thousands of bikes for Zane.
- Adequately heated and cooled working area. Workers say it is often too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer...many have to wear coats while they work in the winter.
- Paid sick days. Workers lose money when they or a family member is sick.
- Paid vacation days. Workers can’t even count on a paid vacation after so much hard work.
- Paid time off to mourn the death of a family member. Zane doesn't pay a worker who has to go to a funeral for their family member.

Chris Zane exploits the workers who make him rich! Because of his behavior Zane’s Cycles has been charged with violating federal labor law. The charges are currently before the National Labor Relations Board.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO issued the following appeal for solidarity with workers at Zane's Cycles:
"Workers at Zane’s Cycles stood up to management and voted to join UFCW Local 919 over nine months ago, but the owner still refuses to bargain in good faith.
"The workers now need your help to get a first contract. Call owner Chris Zane and tell him to stop exploiting his workers!
"Chris Zane engages in bad faith bargaining and unfair labor practices. Tell Chris to sit down with the workers and negotiate in good faith by calling him at 203-483-2620."

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