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We assume many of our readers are regulars at the 256 Starbucks scattered throughout Queens and the other boroughs. This is the nation’s most popular coffee shop and its customers think nothing of shelling out $5 or more for a Frappuccino or any of its other specialty drinks.
But New York City is a union town and we suspect Starbucks regulars will not be happy when they realize the company has decided to break its contract with Elmhurst Dairy in Queens, putting 252 workers at the Jamaica plant and 450 truck drivers at risk of losing their jobs.
According to one report, 75 percent of the workers at the dairy are minorities and all are union members. From now on, Starbucks plans to get its milk from Dean Foods, a non-union, Texas-based conglomerate with a dairy upstate.
City leaders are rightfully furious. Starbucks makes a ton of money and the decision to desert Queens is a kick in the teeth for a city already hurting.
Starbucks said this is no big deal and will not force Elmhurst Dairy to lay off workers. The people who run the dairy disagree. They say the loss of the Starbucks business could force Elmhurst to close its doors. The two sides will fight it out in court.
Meanwhile, coffee drinkers will have to decide if they want to continue to patronize a trendy establishment that appears anti-union.
Duck, Goose, Duck
The city is coming again for the wild geese hanging out near LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports. The city Department of Environmental Protection claims the geese have caused problems for planes taking off and landing at these airports.
DEP caught a lot of flak last year when it gassed geese and buried them in a landfill. This year, the dead geese will be taken to a meat packing plant in Pennsylvania. The meat will then be used to feed the hungry.
Any goose found within 7 miles of the airports is at risk. That is pretty much every goose in Queens.
We remain unconvinced the goose slaughter is necessary or effective. There has to be a better way to address this problem than the annual goose hunt.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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