Dear Mr. Rich:
We write to you today to express support for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and
Grain Millers (BCTGM) at the Jon Donaire Desserts plant in Santa Fe Springs, California who
have been on strike since November 3, 2021. We urge you to reach an agreement as soon as
possible on a contract that is fair and that includes good wages, decent benefits, reliable schedules
and safe working conditions.
What the 100 bakery workers, who make cakes for Baskin Robbins, Safeway and Cold Stone
Creamery are asking for is not radical. These workers, 75 percent of whom are Latina women,
have been working up to 16 hours a day. All they are asking for is a $1 per hour wage increase
each year for three years, respect on the job, a fair attendance policy and no cuts to their healthcarebenefits.
Let's be clear. Rich Products is not a poor company. It is not going broke. Last year, your company
made over $4 billion in revenue. During the pandemic, you became over $2 billion richer and now
have an estimated net worth of more than $7.5 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires
Index. We do not believe that it is too much to ask that you treat your workers with the respect and dignity they have earned and deserve.
Average wages at Jon Donaire are less than $17 per hour -- which is slightly higher than the
minimum wage in California. BCTGM members at Rich Products' facility in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee -- where the cost of living is much lower -- make, on average, $6 more per hour than
their Los Angeles peers. In your California plant workers are often penalized for absences, such
as medical appointments, which are unapproved but necessary.
The work at the Santa Fe Springs plant is difficult and days are long. Production line speeds
continue to increase to as high as 38 cakes per minute. Many workers report hand and arm injuries
and physical and emotional stress levels are high. Mandatory overtime is common, and workers
can work up to 16 hour shifts with little notice. Morale at work is low, and our understanding is
that these dedicated workers have reported their concerns to Rich Products headquarters.
Unfortunately, these concerns continue to go unanswered and ignored.
Mr. Rich: Your employees have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, keeping production
lines moving at breakneck speeds and fueling company profits. Meanwhile, your employees are
falling further and further behind economically.
Your employees deserve better. We urge you to bargain in good faith with the union and agree to
a fair contract as soon as possible.