Teamsters Local 665 has been working to organize the workers of Amy’s Kitchen in Santa Rosa for many months. Unite HERE was working on an organizing drive with the San Jose group. Suddenly, on July 18, with no warning, the company closed the manufacturing operations at its San Jose facility effective immediately.
Upon hearing the news, Business Rep Ray Torres contacted two union employers that he knew were looking for employees. Within two days, T Marzetti, the salad dressing maker in Milpitas, organized a hiring event. They invited Amy’s Kitchen employees to tour the facility and interview, and by the end of that day, they hired about 30-35 workers. A few weeks later, Kellogg’s did the same thing and brought in 25-30 new workers.
“People’s lives were turned upside down. Even though 300 lost their jobs, we were immediately able to help about 50 of them get good jobs. And though we weren’t actually conducting any of the union drives at Amy’s Kitchen, now those 50 people are Local 853 members,” Torres says with pride. “This is what we do!”