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Chetak Workers Win Contract

chetak workers

RWDSU Local 262 members - Chetak Drivers for IndiKitch and Deep Foods in New Jersey - ratified their first ever contract that will give workers back pay from 2016. The hard-fought contract, which was settled on Thursday afternoon May 4, recognizes the need for delivery help for drivers, back pay, retirement benefits and electric pallets to help workers make deliveries.

Workers at Chetak distribution facility in Edison New Jersey overcame an intense anti-union campaign of intimidation and retaliation from management to win a union voice last year. Deep Foods is an Indian food distribution warehouse with 50 employees. Founded in 1977, Deep Foods has grown into the largest Indian Food manufacturer nationwide. The company produces the brands Deep, Tandoor Chef, Hot Mix and many others. Its products can be found in markets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. The company has facilities in New Jersey, Texas, Florida and overseas in India.   

Under the two-year agreement, the company recognized the back breaking work their drivers do every day and provided workers with additional bodies to help make deliveries in major metropolitan areas.

Contract provisions include:

There will be a general wage increase over the term of the contract of: $0.55 per hour each year, and $0.65 per hour retroactive pay from 2016 till ratification.

Contract ratification bonus payment for workers of $350 per worker.

Driver helpers for deliveries in major metropolitan areas as well as electric pallets, which will help workers, and reduce the backbreaking work they do every day.

Immigrant and worker safety and security trainings and protocols.

The employer will make efforts to advertise job promotions and openings in conspicuous places, and improved language on members’ rights to get those jobs.