Workers at the Trader Joe’s distribution center in Massachusetts voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, or UFCW, on Wednesday night, according to The Boston Globe. Employees voted 28-22 in favor of unionizing, making them the first set of grocery workers at the center to be represented by a union. The union hopes this decision will help them bring about better working conditions for the employees, who were reportedly paid less than $15 an hour with no benefits or sick days according to The Boston Globe.
Employees at a Trader Joe’s supermarket in Massachusetts on Thursday became the latest group of workers at a major company to unionize.
Trader Joe’s in Hadley, about 80 miles west of Boston, is the first Trader Joe’s to have a union, though other locations have attempted to unionize.
The union vote ended with a narrow margin of 45-31.
With an open letter to company CEO Dan Bane citing concerns about wages, benefits, and safety, the store’s organizers have just launched an effort to unionize. 80 of the company’s lower-ranked employees, who would not include managers or supervisors, will have the right to vote. They are categorized as crew members and merchants.
Now that the union has been approved, the next step is to form a negotiating committee to strike a deal with Trader Joe’s, which has 550 stores nationwide, said Maeg Yosef, a union organizer and 18-year Trader Joe’s employee.
As Trader Joe’s United, the Hadley union is independent and not affiliated with any existing union, although it has received administrative and legal support from established unions, says Yosef. We’re going to be making sure we have fair wages for all of our people, he said. We’re going to be making sure we get a good contract.