The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which is negotiating a number of labor contracts of its own, stepped into a private dispute Tuesday, backing striking workers in a business that makes ice-cream cakes.

Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis co-authored a motion recommending that the board send a letter to the CEO of Rich’s Products Corporation, the parent company of Jon Donaire Desserts, asking him to bargain in good faith with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 37.

“All the workers are asking for is a fair contract that includes a working wage and benefits,” Hahn said. “One of the main requests is for a $1 an hour wage increase each year for the three years (of the contract) to help with their cost of living. The union also represents workers in Tennessee who make on average $6 more than the workers here in Los Angeles.”

Hahn said the strike in Santa Fe Springs had been going on for more than 51 days and the roughly 175 strikers were committed to stay on the picket line “as long as it takes.”

Rich’s Products Corporation did not immediately respond to a late-afternoon request for comment via email. The company is headquartered in Buffalo, New York. There was no answer at the number for Jon Donaire Desserts in Santa Fe Springs.

Workers staff a production line where as many as 38 cakes per minute are produced, and they are sometimes required to pick up mandatory overtime with little notice, according to Hahn.

She plans a personal boycott.

“I know personally I’m not going to be buying any ice-cream cakes from Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone (or) Vons this holiday season,” Hahn said. “It isn’t worth it for those mothers who are out there striking in the cold rain with their children.”

The cakes are also sold at Walmart and Red Robin restaurants.

Hahn said she was moved to intervene because the workforce is largely made up of women.

Hahn and Solis met with the strikers Monday, and Solis noted that the workforce is largely Latina.

“Coming from an immigrant working class family, I understand the sacrifices facing these workers and their families as they wake up every morning to go to the picket line and demand better pay, health care and respect,” Solis said.

Solis asked that the board also direct the CEO to send notice to the California Labor Commissioner, California Labor & Workforce Development Agency and the National Labor Relations Board, asking those agencies to monitor good faith bargaining between the two parties.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she was reluctant to step in.

“We have a difficult time dealing with our own unions, and we’re grappling now with making sure that those that we contract with are providing fair wages and all, and yet we’re going to go outside … to try to influence something else,” Barger said. “This is a slippery slope that we are going down.”

Barger warned that the move would likely lead to many more requests to intervene on behalf of non-county workers.

She said she had tried unsuccessfully to reach Rich’s CEO. She expressed certainty that there was more than one side to the story and said she wanted to learn more.

However, she said she was ultimately swayed to vote in favor of the motion at hand based on what she had heard about management’s tactics in dealing with workers.

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