Labor Coalition Supports Boycott of Latin Food Giant

September 1, 2020

noGoya.jpg1199SEIU announced via social media on July 17 the union’s participation in a boycott of Latin foods giant Goya Foods. During a July 9 appearance at the White House, Goya President Bob Unanue praised Donald Trump and characterized the United States as “blessed” to have Mr. Trump as its leader. The response to Unanue’s compliment was swift and severe, with a social media-driven, organized boycott movement springing up with the hashtags #BoycottGoya and #Goyaway. The action quickly drew high profile supporters, including famed playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents a heavily Latinx district that spans the Bronx and Queens. 1199’s own Executive Council voted unanimously to support the boycott at a July meeting, and during a July 22 TeleTown Hall, EVP Maria Kercado explained the importance of the action and the Union’s decision to support it.

“We have a bitter history with Goya,” said Kercado. “The company has consistently taken positions against the Latino community; instead of setting an example and taking the high road they have done the opposite.” Kercado pointed out that the boycott was a central discussion at a recent meeting of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).

LCLAA includes delegations from 1199SEIU, Transit Workers Union Local 100 and the New York State Nurses Association and supports the boycott and has been urging other labor organizations not to remain neutral. Workers from across labor played a central role in a United Food and Commercial Workers organizing campaign at Goya Florida in the late 1990’s. Goya eventually succeeded in dismantling the Florida workers’ union.

For more information about the Goya Boycott, visit #BoycottGoya #Goyaway

1199 Magazine | July / August 2020