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Protesters Rally Outside Amish Market Over Wage Abuses

By DNAinfo Staff on January 15, 2010 6:35pm  | Updated on January 15, 2010 6:32pm

By Josh Williams

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LOWER MANHATTAN — Angry union protesters and the head of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn rallied in support for workers' rights Friday outside the Amish Market grocery in TriBeCa.

The store has a history of labor abuses, leading the New York State Department of Labor to levy a $1.5 million enforcement against them for unpaid wages last year.

But workers who tried to unionize to remedy the abuses have been coming under fire from their managers, leading protesters to call for a boycott Friday.

“We are not going to spend our money, which is taxpayer money, supporting stores and businesses that are stealing money from workers,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Protesters rally outside the Amish Market in TriBeCa.
Protesters rally outside the Amish Market in TriBeCa.
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DNAinfo/Josh Williams

Numerous workers from the local UFCW 1500 who frequently patronize the grocery and deli joined the protest, while others walked past to get their lunch.

One of those outside was an electrician who said he had mixed feelings about the boycott.

“I always buy lunch at the Amish market,” said electrician's union member Tommy Keating.

When asked if he would keep up the boycott, Keating replied, “We’ll see. Depends on what’s on tomorrow's menu.”