By the Chinese Progressive Association
On April 29, Kam Man located in the South Bay Mall in Dorchester closed. Kam Man is a 36,600 square foot Asian food supermarket that employed about 30-50 workers. It is unclear the reason for its closing.
If you are a former worker at Kam Man, you can collect up to 30 weeks of unemployment insurance with a possibility of extending it for up to another 15 weeks. When applying for unemployment insurance, workers can indicate if they are interested in training classes to help build their skills for acquiring a new job. Workers need to start training within 15 weeks of being unemployed. For Kam Man workers this would be August 12.
If workers organize, there is an opportunity for them to receive funding to be retrained for new grocery store positions. There are two new supermarkets slated to open near Chinatown next year. This includes a flagship Whole Foods Market at the Ink Block development in the South End that estimates it will employ 250 workers and a Roche Bros. at the former Filene’s location in Downtown Crossing. Whole Foods Market has said that they will partner with the community on training and hiring with wages starting at $11 an hour. If you are a former worker at Kam Man and are interested in learning more about collecting unemployment benefits or training opportunities please contact the Chinese Progressive Association at 617-357-4499 or come to our office at 28 Ash Street.
In the past, Chinese workers with low level of English proficiency were able to organize and win suitable training. This includes former workers at Power One, CSK Electronics, and Proman Manufacturing.