The Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) has delivered a series of positive impacts to LA County’s food system. Chief among them are wins for local food workers.
Teamsters have leveraged GFPP’s adoption by the LA Unified School District in various ways including calling out and blocking union-busting tactics by Gold Star, a local distributor in the district’s supply chain. Over 150 drivers voted in favor of union representation by the Teamsters a few years ago after employees were free to engage in workplace organizing without fear of retaliation–a requirement of participating in GFPP. We’re now celebrating warehouse workers at Gold Star winning a union contract last month–totaling nearly 400 employees who now have higher wages, better health benefits, and stronger workplace protections. Big congrats to the Teamsters Local 63 and Joint Council 42–it’s a testament to their talented organizing and ability to use GFPP as tool for securing increased protections and higher wages for food workers!
And GFPP continues to the expand beyond LA. On the heels of last year’s adoption by the Chicago Public Schools (June), Chicago Parks Department (September), and the City of Chicago (October) comes interest from Cook County to do the same. The county seat of Chicago is in the midst of drafting a policy that would leverage GFPP to incentivize contracts for producers of color and women-owned food businesses as well as businesses that hire from local low-income communities.