Allegations that an individual Trader Joe’s interfered with workers’ efforts to unionize now appears to be legitimate.
According to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board, TJ’s management at the store, in Minneapolis, Minn., illegally pulled union literature from the break room and did not allow workers to post fliers about organizing a union in November 2022, as reported by the Huffington Post.
Filing a complaint means the National Labor Relations Board found the issues to be justified. The board additionally said the retailer was interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees who were attempting to unionize.
Workers have to follow certain rules when it comes to distributing union literature to co-workers, but the board said that in Minneapolis, Trader Joe’s complained when a store manager placed a warning on the bulletin board after flyers were distributed in the break room. The board said that action was implementing an “overly broad prohibition,” according to reporting from the Huffington Post.
The efforts by store management to block the union movement were ultimately ineffective, as workers voted 55-5 to join Trader Joe’s United, the company’s union. Trader Joe’s United now consists of four stores.
Trader Joe’s United said it was “thrilled” to be making progress on this and the countless other unfair labor practice charges it has filed against Trader Joe’s, according to reporting by Huffington Post.
“This is just the beginning of holding Trader Joe’s accountable for the many instances in which they’ve violated our rights as workers,” the union said in a statement.
There are now Trader Joe’s unions in Massachusetts, California, Kentucky, and Minnesota.
Back in late April, TJ’s workers in Oakland, Calif., voted to unionize. Earlier in the year, workers at a Louisville store also moved to unionize, but Trader Joe’s filed an objection with the National Labor Relations Board. The retailer says the union and its supporters acted unlawfully to discourage voting in the election.
The National Labor Board found merit to the complaint that managers at Trader Joe's disrupted workers' attempt to form a union. Management posted a warning sign on the bulletin board after pro-union fliers were distributed. Do you think rules regarding unions are clear? Is there rule or rules that you feel could be challenged?
Let us know in the comments here, or email your thoughts to the SN staff at [email protected].