Pineapple protest on the Delaware River

    Longshoremen are angry over a contract dispute with Del Monte. They say 200 of them could lose their jobs down on the docks.

    Philadelphia had a Boston Tea Party-style protest Monday. Instead of tea, substitute fruit. And in lieu of colonists, think longshoremen. Del Monte’s plan to move port jobs from Camden to the privately owned terminals in neighboring Gloucester City sparked the action.

    Union members throw pineapples into the river

    This is the chaotic sound of a bizarre scene: dozens of union members tossing pineapples, yes pineapples into the Delaware River.

    International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1291 President Boise Butler says the union negotiated a contract in good faith with Del Monte — but he says the company wants more. He says moving the work to docks in Gloucester City is expected to cost the local union about 200 jobs.

    “Del Monte has decided to severe ties with the ILA only to replace us with the guys who’s making $8-10 an hour. We will not sit by idly and watch these family sustaining jobs go to hell okay! So listen we’re here today to toss Del Monte and toss Del Monte products and we’re going to ask everybody to boycott Del Monte for all the right reasons!”
    Pineapples floating in the river
    And with that, Butler tosses his own pineapple into the river.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    Del Monte could not be reached for comment.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal