Louisville, Kentucky - Employees at the only Trader Joe's store in Louisville voted in favor of organizing Thursday evening, becoming the third location of the national grocery chain to form a union. The store's workers will now be a part of the Trader Joe's United, the guild for employees across the country. The employees who voted in favor of unionizing won their vote 48-36, a release said, after taking action to do so in September. "We are so excited to be the first Trader Joe’s location affiliated with Trader Joe’s United in the south. It’s a game changing decision that will contribute massively to the modern labor movement," Connor Hovey, an employee of the store and union organizer, told The Courier Journal. A request for comment sent to Trader Joe's corporate Thursday night was not immediately returned.
Since a union in the workplace leads to both higher wages and better benefits — as well as erodes management’s authority — few bosses remain neutral during a union fight. It is not uncommon to find them returning to tactics that workers describe as intimidating or coercive. This is even true in workplaces that espouse “progressive” or left-wing principles, where rhetoric and politics mean little when money and power are on the line. This is what several employees allege happened when they tried to unionize at No Evil Foods — a large vegan foods brand founded in 2014 and available at more than 5,500 retail locations, including Whole Foods. No Evil Foods sought to appeal to social justice activists by using names like El Zapatista or Comrade Chuck for their products but were firm in their opposition to a union. After losing a union election, employees at a growing vegan food company have insights into how to overcome the challenges of organizing in a liberal workplace.