Denver supporters of Philadelphia Longshoremen and City Council members send message on Nov. 22:

"Del Monte is undermining the fundamental pillars of the work force in America!"

-November 23, 2010

On Monday evening, in a show of support and solidarity for 200 longshoremen from the Port of Philadelphia, community, clergy and labor advocates in Colorado met as a delegation in front of the Denver City and County Building to pressure City Council to take a stand against global giant Del Monte’s decision to cut over 200 good paying, quality jobs.

“When you have corporate aggression of this type that strips out a families abilities to provide for their children, not only do we have the immediate destabilization of families, but this has long term ripple effects in our communities,” stated Denver School Board Director Andrea Merida. “When we do not set up our children to be successful then we are weakening our democracy.”

Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez met the delegation outside in 28-degree weather and stated, “It’s a cold day and a cold night but this is an action of solidarity. We are here because what Del Monte is doing is undermining the fundamental pillars of the work force in America. They are taking us back to the 1920s.”

Councilman Lopez continued, “I personally will boycott Del Monte products until this issue is resolved and in a few moments we will be getting signatures from Denver City Council on a letter to the head of Del Monte.”

The delegation was part of a Nov. 22 National Day of Action called by the Friends and Families of International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Local 1291 in response to the Del Monte Fresh Produce cut of over 200 union jobs at the Port of Philadelphia. The corporation did this after demanding and getting over $5 million dollars in wage and other benefit concessions from the local union.

“In Philadelphia this morning, hundreds came out in the streets and blocked traffic including the 3-year old daughter of one of the longshoremen that lost his job. She was wearing a sign that read, “Del Monte ruined my Christmas,” said Russell Bannan with the American Federation of Teachers in Colorado. "The reality is Del Monte also ruined her college education and her father’s ability to provide a future for his family."

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