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Teamsters press City Hall to scrap Catsimatidi’s fuel contract as strike enters Year 2

The Teamsters are urging City Hall to halt a $52 million fuel contract awarded to a company controlled by food magnate John Catsimatidis, while the union ramps up pressure on the billionaire to end a labor strike, The Post has learned.

Union officials say they have repeatedly urged Mayor Adams since taking office in January to suspend business with Catsimatidis’ United Metro Fuel Corporation under an agreement struck by his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, after the strike began.

“We want the mayor and the city of New York to honor the picket line and not do business with someone like that,” said Demos Demopoulos, chairman of Teamsters Local 553. “We don’t think New York City should do business like that.”

Demopoulos said the mayor’s office contacted him last week to set up a meeting with Adams about the showdown between the union and Catsimatidis.

City Hall said in a statement that the contract could not be terminated because of the industrial dispute and that Catsimatidis’ company was complying with municipal regulations.

“Mayor Adams believes workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively for better wages and benefits,” Adams spokesman Jonah Allon said. “This contract has been in place for almost a year and complies with all city procurement rules.”

Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams and Catsimatidis are on friendly terms.
AP/Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere

The Teamsters, in a letter to Adams in March, alleged that Catsimatidis underperforms workers and pays an hourly rate of $8 below rates the union has negotiated at other companies in the industry.

It came two months after the union’s then-top national boss, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., wrote a related letter to Hizzoner in January.

All in all, city records show that since 2013, United Metro has signed contracts worth $116 million to supply fuel and heating oil to city agencies.

General view of New York City Hall
City Hall said the contract could not be terminated because of the industrial dispute and that Catsimatidis’ company was complying with municipal regulations.
Christopher Sadowski

This latest agreement was signed by the Department of Citywide Services in June 2021 – two months after the strike began.

Catsimatidis is friends with Adams, a Democrat, although he is one of the most prominent Republicans in the Big Apple and owns conservative talk radio station WABC-770AM. His daughter is the leader of the Manhattan Republican Party.

In a statement, Catsimatidis argued that the Teamsters’ request would “hurt” other employees at the company, including truckers who are represented by the union but are not on strike because they are still under contract.

“If they hurt the company, they hurt their own members,” he said, then added that “the people who lost their jobs are welcome to come back.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/18/teamsters-press-city-hall-to-nix-catsimatidis-fuel-contract-as-strike-enters-year-2/ Teamsters press City Hall to scrap Catsimatidi’s fuel contract as strike enters Year 2

JACLYN DIAZ

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