A Trader Joe's In Brooklyn Could Be The Next Location To Unionize

Unionization has made lots of headlines of late. We've reported previously that Trader Joe's locations in Hadley, Massachusetts, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, have voted to unionize, and that a third location in Boulder, Colorado, had filed for a vote to determine whether to form a union as well. The Guardian reports that following the filing of the Boulder store's petition to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, the grocery chain announced increases in both pay and benefits for workers, a move the UFCW Local 7 alleges violates labor laws.

Trader Joe's Boulder location has pulled its petition and the UFCW Local 7 has filed charges against the company, alleging unfair labor practices aimed at busting unionization efforts. The UFCW claims company property was used to create anti-union buttons and a pro-union employee was taken off the schedule and replaced by one who didn't support unionizing. The failure of the Boulder Trader Joe's to unionize hasn't, however, deterred another location that has recently filed its own petition.

Workers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, may have a fight on their hands

Perfect Union explains that the Trader Joe's in Brooklyn filed to unionize on September 23, 2022, and they seek to join an independent union called Trader Joe's United, whose tagline is, "A union is the ultimate inverted pyramid." Brooklyn Trader Joe's employees say they want to unite because they have "faced racial discrimination, poor working conditions, and, lately, union busting while working at Trader Joe's." Workers claim that employees of color have been unfairly disciplined, and one worker, identified only by her first name, Jaz, says she was fired mid-shift for what she claims were her efforts to rally support for unionizing.

Brooklyn Paper notes that 185 employees of the New York-based Trader Joe's sent petitions to the National Labor Relations Board, which now determines if a vote will be conducted. If more than half of employees vote to unionize, the board will certify that union. It's interesting to note that in August 2022, when employees at Trader Joe's only NYC wine shop attempted to unionize, the company closed the location down. While Brooklyn Trader Joe's workers hand out flyers to shoppers to garner support, we wait to see if a third Trader Joe's location will win its fight to join a union.