Workers at a Minneapolis Trader Joe’s last week voted in favor of unionizing, becoming the grocery chain’s second location out of about 530 to unionize within weeks.
The Trader Joe’s is located in downtown Minneapolis. Workers there voted 55-5 in favor of unionizing.
Sarah Beth Ryther, a union organizer and crew member at the store, told Minnesota Reformer, “We’re also really excited to get the hard work started of bargaining and making our workplace safer.”
A spokeswoman from the company said it is concerned about how the “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.”
Ryther said workers at the location were upset about hours and compensation. She also said the store’s location is in an area where drug use is rampant, and the company has not done enough to recognize workers’ concerns.
She told The New York Times about a time when an individual, who appeared to be shot, came stumbling into the store and collapsed in her arms. She claimed that the company did not appropriately address the situation and it took a few days before she found out that she could collect workers’ compensation to deal with the trauma.
The Reformer reported that workers gathered at a loading dock behind the store and celebrated when the vote was confirmed by the National Labor Relations Board. Some workers cried.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the seismic shift occurring across the U.S. involving service-industry workers turning to unions to help them achieve a certain level of dignity at their jobs. (See “FIRST TRADER JOE’S VOTES TO UNIONIZE,” “TOP 2022 UNIONIZATION TREND UPDATE,” “TOP 2022 TREND, ‘UNIONIZATION,’ ON THE RISE” and “TOP TREND UNIONIZATION, HEATING UP: TOP GERMAN UNION PUSHING FOR HIGHER WAGES.”)
We reported earlier this month that workers at a Hadley, Mass., location accused the progressive company of engaging in “classic union-busting” tactics. One employee said the company hired a law firm that specialized in union busting and explicitly told employees to vote against unionizing.
Workers at the Minneapolis location filed complaints with the NLRB that accused the company of offering significant pay increases to employees at stores that were not seeking union representation.
The company said it could not offer these increases to the workers looking to unionize because it would be seen as buying votes.
The report noted that Trader Joe’s offers pay that rivals other supermarkets that have unionized workers, but some workers say their benefits have been reduced in recent years.
TREND FORECAST: Unionization will continue to be a Top Trend and, as inflation continues to rise faster than wages, corporations that wish to incentivize their workforce to do and give the best they can, will raise the pay scale to levels higher than inflation rates.
Workers at a Trader Joe’s location in Boulder, Colo., have also filed a petition for a union election and could become the third store to unionize. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 filed a petition on Tuesday. The previous two Trader Joe’s unionized under Trader Joe’s United.