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Local 338 Protests Pindar Vineyards

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Robert Buonaspina (third from left), Long Island Activist Steering Committee member, with protestors.

Farm workers from the iconic Pindar Vineyards sought to raise awareness for their ongoing contract negotiations by protesting outside Pindar’s Port Jefferson tasting room on November 19. There was a previous protest on November 10.

Protestors were visible from Main Street in Port Jefferson, where some support came in the form of honking horns from passing cars.

“Pindar workers joined local 338 over a year ago,” said John Durso, president of Local 338, becoming the first agricultural workers in New York State to do so. The 12 agricultural workers officially became unionized on September 27 after the passage of the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act in 2019. The Act extended more workplace protections and rights to agricultural workers who were historically neglected in other labor legislation.

Durso stated that legislation took 20 years to pass.

“During this time, we’ve been trying to negotiate a contract, and we’ve gotten no place,” Durso added. “They’ve stalled; they’ve put roadblocks up; they have not been willing to negotiate a real contract for the workers.”

The tasting room closed shortly after the protestors arrived. A sign was posted to the tasting room door stating it would reopen at 4:00 O’clock, or as Durso suggested, right as they were scheduled to leave.

Pindar Vineyards was not immediately available for comment.

A representative from Pindar stated to News 12 that negotiations have been taking place in “good faith.”

This is an ongoing story.                               

Brian R. Monahan
Brian R. Monahan
News Editor for The Messenger Papers.