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Bloomingfoods Workers Win Voice on the Job with Local 700

photo-51-300x225In an accelerated, fair process marked by company neutrality and community involvement, around 250 workers across five Bloomingfoods Coop grocery stores and a commissary that supplies ready-made food have chosen a real voice at work with UFCW Local 700.

Bloomingfoods workers had reached out and asked UFCW members for help in getting their company to remain neutral and let them have a free and fair choice to join a union. With your help, the company committed to a fair process and the workers overwhelmingly voted to join with their fellow grocery workers in Local 700.

“Bloomingfoods is part of what I love most about Bloomington,” said Casie Jetter, a Bloomingfoods commissary worker. “I want the co-op to remain strong and successful so that my daughter can some day shop at the same co-op that has remained a staple in our community. Bringing a union to Bloomingfoods will put our co-op one more step ahead of competition in an increasingly competitive market.”

In addition to the hard work of UFCW activists and members across the country, members of UFCW 700 and 23 worked hard to support the efforts of the organizing workers on the ground.

“This marks the end of our unionizing campaign,” member owner and employee Kaisa Goodman said. “But this is just the beginning of our contract campaign…one thing has ended, but something bigger is about to begin.”

Member Spotlight: John Cevasco

In this week’s member spotlight, we’re highlighting UFCW Local 1459 Member John Cevasco.

photo 3John works in the grocery department at Greenfield’s Market of Franklin Community Co-op in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

This is John’s 17th year working at the co-op. Throughout his time there, he has enjoyed educating other members about dietary options offered at the co-op to consider for their health and wellness needs.

Three years ago, John and some of his fellow coworkers formed an organizing committee in order to form a union in their workplace, in order to have a real democratic voice on the job.

Ever since, John has continued to be an active member of his bargaining committee, in which he and his coworkers have won paid holidays, wage increases, and improved job security by sticking together and ratifying their first contract.

In his spare time, John is now visiting with neighboring co-ops and their workers in order to share the good news and talk about the difference that  having a voice on the job with a union really makes.

Keep up the great work John!

If you have a member story to share, fill out our online form here and it might get featured on the blog!

 

 

Sign the Petition to Support Bloomingfoods Workers and Their Right to Organize!

Sign the Petition Here to Take Action!

Bloomingfoods Shift Supervisor Natascha Buehnerkemper via https://www.facebook.com/unite.bloomingfoods

Bloomingfoods Shift Supervisor Natascha Buehnerkemper via https://www.facebook.com/unite.bloomingfoods

Workers at Bloomingfoods Market & Deli co-op grocery store in Indiana have been standing together, calling for a recognition and neutrality agreement while they exercise their right to organize, as well as for their employer to stop consulting with anti-union law firms in order to interfere with the workers’ basic rights.

The right of workers to engage in concerted activities in order to try to improve working conditions is a keystone of labor relations, and is guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.

The workers at Bloomingfoods are aiming to ensure that their basic worker rights are protected and upheld, so that Bloomingfoods can remain an important part of the community, and reflects the residents’ values of commitment to social justice, equal rights, and sustainability.

One worker at Bloomingfoods has said that she supports the union movement at her workplace because she wants Bloomingfoods to return to its mission of valuing workers–which means fair wages, improved access to benefits, safer working conditions, and “a bit of security in an incredibly insecure environment.”
Jordan, another employee at Bloomingfoods, has been working there for four years. “In my job,” he says, “I see a lot of people working very hard with pride in the things that they do. Many people with families to support. I feel as though a lot of these people are unrecognized throughout the company. After my years spent with this company, I finally feel as though a union is necessary. I have personal reasons, as well as reasons that other people have confided in me, that have led me to believe that this cannot be done alone. These reasons have been confided to me, and not put out in the open, because job security is not something that can be promised without a union backing us up. It is our legal right to unionize, so that should be reason enough to support employees making this decision. But more than that, now is YOUR chance to speak up. My coworkers and I need the community’s support now more than ever. It cannot be done alone, and it cannot be done in silence.”

You can help them by signing a petition, started by a concerned customer, here.

Some of the many people who have signed have expressed why they feel it was important to do so. One signer said:

“Bloomingfoods believes that it has an obligation to ‘educate the community to the economic, social and other beneficial values inherent in organizing community services…’ In that spirit, it would be counter to their mission to obstruct union organization efforts in any way.”

Another agreed that, “Employees anywhere should be able to exercise their right to organize without opposition.”

You can find more information about the Bloomingfoods workers standing up for a voice on the job by checking out their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unite.bloomingfoods

Community supporters have voiced their concerns on the facebook page as well, noting that they are willing to take their business elsewhere if they employees are not respected. Other co-op workers who have fought to unionize their workplaces have shown support too.

According to an article in the Indiana Daily Student, “Solidarity Forever!” has become the unofficial motto of the workers of Bloomingfoods. It is only through solidarity that the employees and community members that support them can ensure they have a protected voice on the job. 

In an expression of this solidarity, workers of Bloomingfoods have hosted rallies to garner more community awareness and support, with great turnout. We support the employees of Bloomingfoods as they stand together to can make a difference in their workplace!