Teamsters press City Hall to nix Catsimatidis fuel contract as strike enters Year 2

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The Teamsters are pushing City Hall to halt a $52 million fuel contract awarded to a company controlled by grocery magnate John Catsimatidis as the union amps up the pressure on the billionaire to settle a labor strike, The Post has learned.

Union officials say they’ve made repeated entrees to Mayor Adams since he took office in January to pause doing business with Catsimatidis’ United Metro Fuel Corporation, under a deal that was struck by his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, after the strike began.

“We want the Mayor and the City of New York to honor the picket line, to not do business with someone like this,” said Teamsters Local 553 leader Demos Demopoulos. “We don’t feel this is the way that New York City should be doing business.”

Demopoulos said that the Mayor’s Office had contacted him last week to set up a meeting with Adams about the showdown between the union and Catsimatidis.

City Hall said in a statement the contract could not be nixed because of the labor dispute and that Catsimatidis’ company is in compliance with municipal regulations.

“Mayor Adams believes workers have the right to organize and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits,” said Adams spokesman Jonah Allon. “This contract has been in place for almost a year, and is in compliance with all city procurement rules.”

Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams and Catsimatidis have a friendly relationship.
AP/Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere

The Teamsters claimed in a letter sent to Adams in March that Catsimatidis is shortchanging workers on benefits and salary, paying a rate that’s $8 an hour beneath the scales the union has negotiated at other companies in the sector.

It came two months after the union’s then-top national boss, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., authored a letter in January to Hizzoner on the matter.

All told, city records show that United Metro has netted $116 million in contracts to provide fuel and heating oil to city agencies since 2013.

A general view of the New York City Hall
City Hall said the contract could not be nixed because of the labor dispute and Catsimatidis’ company is in compliance with municipal regulations.
Christopher Sadowski

This most recent agreement was signed off on by the Department of Citywide Services in June 2021 — two months after the strike began.

Catsimatidis is friendly with Adams, a Democrat, despite being among the most prominent Republicans in the Big Apple and owning conservative talk radio station WABC-770AM. His daughter is the head of the Manhattan Republican Party.

In a statement, Catsimatidis argued that the Teamsters request would “hurt” other employees of the company, including truckers who are repped by the union but not on strike because they’re still under contract.  

“If they hurt the company, they are hurting their own members,” he said and then added that the “people they pulled off the job are welcome to come back.”

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