Don't Look for the Union Label

For two years Goya Foods has waged a war to prevent its workers from unionizing. Now things are starting to get really ugly.

Most of the men have worked together five days a week for a decade or more; their ties are close. Each one's history is known: his legal or immigration problems, how the company helped them, what he signed, what he said to whom.

A white-haired driver stops at the intersection and nods, but doesn't roll down his window. Gonzalez waves in acknowledgment. "He used to be one of the strongest [advocates of the union]," Gonzalez explains with no animosity. "Used to talk about taking over the company. He folded like a cheap accordion."

Steve Satterwhite
Alberto Turienzo calls the union fight at Goya a bloodbath
Steve Satterwhite
Alberto Turienzo calls the union fight at Goya a bloodbath

Turienzo chuckles and takes a quick drag before throwing his smoked cigarette into the gutter. He looks up, past the tops of the trees lining the avenue. The sky is lightening, black to steel-gray. "They say we want to destroy the company, but the workers live because of the company," he reasons. "I want Goya to prosper, but I want the families of the workers to prosper, too. They tried to destroy my family, so I'm fighting them. They won't give in because they don't want to lose power. They've made this into an ensañamiento -- a bloodbath."

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