Workers at a Trader Joe’s in Minneapolis voted on Friday to unionize, including a second unionized retailer to the greater than 500 places of the grocery store chain.
Employees at a Trader Joe’s in Massachusetts voted to unionize final month, a part of a development of latest union victories involving service staff at corporations like Starbucks, Apple and Amazon.
The Minneapolis vote was 55 to 5, in accordance to the National Labor Relations Board, which held the election.
The Minneapolis staff voted to be part of Trader Joe’s United, the identical impartial union that represents staff in Hadley, Mass. Workers at a third Trader Joe’s retailer, in Colorado, have filed for a union election, however the labor board has not but licensed a vote or set an election date.
In a assertion referring to the election ends in Minneapolis, a Trader Joe’s spokeswoman, Nakia Rohde, mentioned, “While we are concerned about how this new rigid legal relationship will impact Trader Joe’s culture, we are prepared to immediately begin discussions with their collective bargaining representative to negotiate a contract.”
Sarah Beth Ryther, a Trader Joe’s employee in Minneapolis who was concerned within the organizing marketing campaign, mentioned her co-workers had been motivated partly by dissatisfaction with pay and advantages, points that helped immediate the union marketing campaign in Massachusetts. Workers have complained that the corporate has made its advantages much less beneficiant in recent times, although some advantages have improved extra just lately.
But Ms. Ryther mentioned she and her colleagues had been additionally involved that the shop, which is in an space the place some residents battle with drug dependency and psychological well being challenges, appeared not to have protocols or methods in place to deal with sure emergencies. She cited a one that got here into the shop final fall with what appeared to be a gunshot wound and collapsed into her arms.
Police officers arrived shortly, Ms. Ryther mentioned, however Trader Joe’s did little to handle the aftermath, akin to explaining to staff what had occurred. Several days handed earlier than she was instructed that she might acquire staff’ compensation whereas taking time without work to cope with the trauma, she mentioned.
Trader Joe’s didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Ms. Ryther’s account of the employees’ complaints and the shop’s situations, however, in her assertion, Ms. Rohde mentioned the corporate is “committed to responding quickly when circumstances change to ensure we are doing the right thing to support our crew.”
In March 2020, the corporate’s chief government, Dan Bane, despatched a letter to workers referring to “the current barrage of union activity that has been directed at Trader Joe’s” and asserting that union advocates “clearly believe that now is a moment when they can create some sort of wedge in our company through which they can drive discontent.”