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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 26, 1996     Cape Gazette
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April 26, 1996
 

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'. , . -j-,- ,-  , %.  r.  . CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 26. May 2, 1996 - 19 Latino workers still negotiating demands with Mountaire By Kerry Kester Approximately 100 people - most Hispanic - engaged in a protest at Mountaire of Delmarva, Inc. in Selbyville on Monday, April 22, following the termina- tion of an employee who sus- tained a serious injury while working in the plant on April 18. According to Pedro Cruz, a Mountaire employee, Jose Bermudaz-Ortiz, 24, lost.one fin- ger and had damage to two others from an accident that occurred while he was working with a chicken breast machine. Bermuda-Ortiz, of Mexico, who Cruz said had worked for the company for two years, did not have papers indicating he was working in the United States legally. Protesters, some of whom were refusing to return to work until the matter was settled, said the company treated Bermuda-Or- tiz unfairly when it terminated him from his position. A worker, requesting her name be withheld to avoid repercus- sions from the company, said that she joined the protesters "because of the injustice that's happening in the plant. If you are injured, you are fired. They think because we are Latino they can do anything. "I got very angry when Jose was injured. He was a good worker. Before they didn't care if he was legal or illegal. When he was in- jured, they went to the hospital to tell him he was f'wed. They didn't even consider waiting until he got better. They said the reason was that he was illegal, and they knew that before." The woman also said another employee was injured on the job, and the company did not pay her any worker's compensation. Her right hand sustained nerve dam- age. Although she wasn't fired, she still has a lot of pain and the medication she takes makes her sick. She can only work a few hours a day in the cafeteria, said the employee. "She doesn't have any help from the company. "We're here to help the compa- ny understand what they are doing to the workers. We are good workers, we work well, and we want to be treated well." "This is a worker-driven occa- sion," said Jim Lewis, pastor of the Sussex County Mission of the Episcopal Church. He said his church was providing space in which the workers could meet, which is common practice in his church for those who need help coping with an injustice. "And there is an injustice here," he said. Lewis joined Cruz, Sister Maria Mairlot of LaCasita, John Clough of the Episcopal Diocese for Delaware, and Pilar Gomez, a community leader from Twin Cedars - a residential area that is part of the Strong Communities initiative, along with several workers, to meet with company officials on Monday afternoon. The group had a list of six de- mands for the company: "1) All machinery will be in- spected every day by the mechan- ics; 2) We demand that when a person has an accident on the job, he or she will not be fired the next day; 3) We demand that the com- pany treat us like human beings, not like animals; 4) We demand sufficient training on each ma- chine we have to use; 5) The com- pany must not pressure the people to make the same production when there are insufficient work- ers; 6) We demand a worker to be the substitute when a worker takes a break or goes to the bathroom so that when the worker returns, he or she does not have more work than can safely be done." Company officials, union offi- It Is Time For A Change! dudson Bennett is for: An improved police department to keep Lewes safe from crime. Controlling commercial development in and around Lewes. k Stopping the proliferation of signs. Rezoning of commercial areas for more open space. k Equal treatment for all the taxpayers of Lewes. PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE AT LEWES CiTY HALL BEFORE APRIL 26TH. Vote for dudson Bennett for Lewes City Council Sat., May 11,1996 HE CARES ABOUT LEWES. Paid For By Citizens For Judson Bennett cials who opposed the protest, and five representatives of the workers met to discuss the demands late on Monday, on Tuesday and on Wednesday, and they are sched- uled for another meeting on April 26. Unconfirmed reports indicate that some demands were met and others violate the contractual agreement, although workers claimed they never saw a contract. David Pogge, president of Mountaire of Delmarva, Inc., did not return phone calls to his of- rice, so the results of the meeting cannot be confirmed. His secre- tary said she believes his position was that the issue was over and there was no need for further dis- cussion. According to Gomez, Vivian Medinilla Longo, who is representing Bermudaz Ortiz, sent word to those gathered in the church - moments before they de- parted for the plant on Monday - that Mountaire had agreed to help Bermudaz Ortiz. She said Me- dinilla Longo said the company had agreed to pay for therapy, pro- vide worker's compensation, pay medical costs and provide com- pensation for lost time at work. Protesters line up at the Mountaire plant in Sebyville on April 22, following thedismissal of Jose Bermudaz Ortiz (be- low) who lost one finger and had serious damage to others while on the job. Rehoboth Bay Community Our community is located from Route 1, west on Old Landing Road (Route 274). Travel 2.6 miles to Rehoboth Bay Community on the left after Old Land- ing Golf Course. - SALE OftTc HOURS - Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sun. 10 - 4 p.m. POINT CIRCLE #1 1993 SKYLINE POINT CIRCLE #5 1994 SKYLINE 3 bedroom, 2 bath, fully furnished, gas 3 bedroom, 2 bath, fully furnished, A/C, gas heat/cooking. A/C with 10x20, screened heat/cooking. Large screened front porch porch. Lot rent includes water & trash pick- Lot rent includes water and trash pick up up. $52,900. Purchase price $69,900.00 2 years free lot rent on above home. G-37 1990 SKYLINE 14X70 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, W/D, A/C, gas heat and cooking, 12x16 porch, deck, shed, fur- nished, monthly lot rent. Purchase price $32,000. K-13 1989 SKYLINE 14X72 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, gas heat and cooking, W/D, A/C, dishwasher, garbage disposal, porch, deck, shed. Furnished monthly lot rent. Purchase price $39,900. D-42 1982 SCHULT 14X70 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, glass enclosed porch. W/D, A/C, 8x10 shed, furnished, monthly lot rent. Purchase price $27,000. 1(-30 1990 SKYLINE 14X70 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, W/D, A/C, gas hea and cooking 10x14 deck, shed, furnished monthly lot rent. Purchase price $39,900. B-17 1965 ROYCRAFT 55X10 2 bedrooms, I bath, gas cooking, microwave washer, paddle fans. Decks front and rear furnished, encosed addition, monthly lo rent. Purchase price $18,500. F-36 1980 BENCHMARK 14X56 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, oil heat, gas cooking, 14x70 fully enclosed addition, carpeted, shades, unfurnished, monthly lot rent. Pur- chase price $30,500. F-38 1983 MARSHFIELD 14X70 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, gas heat and cooking, 14x24 deck, A/C, W/D, shed, furnished, monthly lot rent. Purchase price $35,000.