The union vote at the Lower East Side Trader Joe’s location ended in a tie, effectively signifying a win for the company against unionization.
This past week, nearly 200 workers from the grocery store have been casting ballots on the question of whether or not to join independent labor union Trader Joe’s United, as reported by The City.
While Trader Joe’s is often thought of as a neighborhood store with a friendly image that treats workers well, recent years have seen changes in its leadership, according to the union.
A GoFundMe started by Trader Joe’s United to fund union efforts states, “Over time, particularly the past 10 years, we have witnessed the culture of Trader Joe’s shift from a workplace that is truly an outlier in the industry, with incredible pay, benefits, and atmosphere, to a company with increasing turnover, declining benefits, and stagnating wages. The pandemic put those changes into stark relief as we were called “essential” workers yet treated as expendable.”
“These two factors–the company’s internal changes and the pandemic–made it clear that we needed to have a say in our workplace, and that a union was the only answer to that need. A union could bring Trader Joe’s back into alignment with the company’s stated core values, which made it a great place to work and shop in the first place.”
Unionization efforts have been made in various Trader Joe’s locations, including in California, Massachusetts and New York.
However, the vote at the Lower East Side location ended in a 76-76 tie, meaning that at least for now, unionization here is a no-go.
The Trader Joe’s wine shop in Union Square also shut its doors recently in the face of a unionization drive.
Trader Joe’s United shared a statement via Twitter on April 20th.
“Tonight at Essex Crossing, we lost our union vote in a tie, 76-76.”
The organization went on to say that they will continue to fight for unionization in the New York locations.
“The fight to unionize a NYC Trader Joe’s continues. From the Upper West Side store almost ten years ago, to the Union Square wine shop that corporate closed just days before workers filed for an election, to the Williamsburg store and now Essex Crossing--Trader Joe’s workers have been trying to unionize here for a long time.”
“We won’t say that the vote count and results don’t matter. They do. But the reality is, the barriers to working people winning against corporations in this country are huge. The odds are stacked against us--and those on top will throw a lot of money and time to keep it that way. But every single time a worker--and in this case nearly 200 of us--stand up and courageously and proudly fight back against this reality, the working class makes huge strides.”