Why Are Protesters Angry at Aldi Stores in the Hudson Valley?
Protesters have set up outside the Aldi Food Markets in four Hudson Valley towns. But what's the real reason why they are so angry with the store?
The sign is pretty shocking, and levels some serious claims against Aldi. Protesters are standing in front of the 9 Mall Plaza in Wappingers Falls with a banner claiming that the food market "buys salmon from North Korean slave camps" and that they are funding their nuke program. Handouts from protesters also claim that Aldi uses horse meat in their burgers..
After investigating the claims of the protesters we found that they are based in truth, but somewhat misleading. Aldi did have an issue with meat suppliers back in 2013 when their overseas food markets were provided with tainted beef. Aldi, however, did not knowingly sell horse meat to customers. Additionally, the products that were contaminated were never sold anywhere in the United States.
As for Aldi funding the North Korean nuclear program, there was a recent news story about certain seafood items from China that were processed in factories that employed workers from North Korea. The fish was traced to suppliers that sent seafood to several stores in the United States, including Walmart and Aldi. The products, however, went through customs and were legally labeled from China, which is a common source of seafood sold in the United States. Custom officials have since cracked down on Chinese suppliers that use labor trafficked from other countries like North Korea.
The ugly protest against Aldi is being orchestrated by the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters. Communications director, Tony Bianchini, told us that their main grievance with Aldi is that the company has not hired union workers to build or remodel their stores. Protesters have also set up in front of Aldi stores in Newburgh, Kingston and Middletown as well as stores throughout the Northeast.
When asked why none of their flyers or signs had any mention of their valid labor complaints and, instead, made these other outrageous claims, Bianchini said that he has only been the director of communications for six months and shared the concern that people may be confused by their message. The representative informed us that new handbills are currently being made up and directed us to their website which more clearly explains the council's actual grievance with Aldi.