We are the Union for Ben & Jerry’s Workers.
Right now, Ben & Jerry’s workers are joining together across the country to improve their working conditions through the power of a union. Whether you work at a creamery or manufacturing facility, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union is here to help you and your coworkers get the respect and benefits that come with starting a union.
Having a union is all about having a say in how your workplace is run. When you and your coworkers come together and start a union, you gain the ability to utilize your collective voice and ensure things like policies, working conditions, and benefits packages can’t be changed without your approval.
Union members have a voice on the job and the right to sit down with their employers to create a mutually agreed-upon contract that secures the thing you need to make your job sustainable.
While most Ben & Jerry’s workers do not yet have union representation, nearly 90% of the manufacturing workers of their parent company Unilever are unionized. Unilever is very proud of this fact and has stated that “labour rights are human rights – and freedom of association is one of our eight salient human rights issues.” We couldn’t agree more with that, and we are here to help you and your coworkers exercise these same rights to organize your Ben & Jerry’s too.
With a union contract, food retail and manufacturing workers have been able to both protect what they love about their jobs and improve the things they don’t! Read on to learn more about the difference a union could make at your Ben & Jerry’s facility — and how you can get involved in organizing your facility too!
Ready to start a union at your Ben & Jerry’s facility?
NY Times: “Ben & Jerry’s Paves Way for Union at Vermont Store”
BURLINGTON, Vermont. — The company agreed to a set of election rules that make it likely for workers at its flagship ice cream shop to unionize.
Ben & Jerry’s announced Friday that it had reached an agreement with workers at its flagship store in Burlington, Vt., on a set of rules to ensure a fair union election, after the workers’ announcement last week that they were seeking to organize.
The agreement is likely to pave the way for the store to become the only unionized Ben & Jerry’s location in the United States. All of the nearly 40 workers eligible to join a union at the store have indicated their support for doing so.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ben & Jerry’s union?
Apart from the scoopers at the Burlington, Vermont retail location, Ben & Jerry’s workers are not unionized – for now. When scoopers at the Burlington flagship store announced their intent to start a union, Ben & Jerry’s agreed to work with them to create a fair election agreement, laying out a set of rules making it easier for workers to start unions at Ben & Jerry’s. The company called this partnership “a step in solidarity in the spirit of constant improvement towards a fair, inclusive, and equitable workplace”.
This also set a precedent for all future union elections at the company and is why both scoopers and manufacturing workers have started to join with their coworkers to organize for change.
Is Unilever union?
Unilever proudly states on its website that they believe “Labor rights are human rights,” and the UFCW is proud to work with them to see this tenet through! 89% of their manufacturing workers are union members – giving them the right to negotiate with the company and secure their benefits with a union contract.
A union contract gives you and your coworkers the power to establish a standard operating procedure that makes sure everyone in your facility follows the same guidelines. We believe all Unilever workers deserve a say in their working conditions, and it is our mission to make sure the remaining 11% get the same benefits as their union coworkers!
What’s in our union contracts?
UFCW Local 371 represents workers in a variety of industries across Connecticut including the Hood’s Ice Cream manufacturing facility in Suffield. During recent contract negotiations, those workers were able to secure:
- Overtime pay after 8 hours per day
- 40 hours of sick leave per year (paid out at time and a half if unused)
- A 401k plan and company-paid pension plan
- Defined grievance and discipline procedure
- Seniority rights regarding promotions, time off, and layoffs
The UFCW also represents Unilever facilities in Virginia, Illinois, and Canada. Those workers have been able to secure benefits like set attendance policies, yearly clothing allowances, low-to-no-cost healthcare plans, paid vacation time that increases with tenure, and guaranteed days off. Additionally, the average Local 371 member pays just $8 to $10 a week in union dues.
What are union dues at UFCW Local 371?
Dairy workers under a union contract with UFCW Local 371 in Connecticut pay $10 per week as full-time employees, or $8 per week as part-timers. You don’t pay a cent of that until you and your coworkers vote to ratify your contract. As for what our union dairy workers get out of their union contract, see below:
What a Union Contract Guarantees
Better Scheduling and Overtime Policy
You and your coworkers are the ones who get the final say in policy-making. Things like your schedule, shift length, and overtime can’t be changed by the company on a whim. Dairy workers at our Union Hood facilities get overtime pay on any shift worked after 8 hours per day.
You work hard and should not only be compensated properly for it but have time to enjoy life too! That’s why we bargain for fair scheduling policies that make 40-hour weeks possible for workers who want a better work-life balance.
Attendance & Discipline Policies
A union contract acts as a standard operating procedure that everyone in your workplace has to follow. Having set disciplinary and grievance procedures is key in our contracts to help protect workers from unjust discipline, wrongful firings, and favoritism.
Seniority & Job Security
We believe that if you want to make a career at your facility, you should have access to the resources to do so! With seniority language in your union contract, things like promotions, raises, time off, and layoffs are determined by the work you put in, not your relationship with supervisors.
Healthcare & Sick Leave
Union food processing and manufacturing workers also enjoy a range of benefits including paid sick leave and affordable healthcare plans, keeping our facilities healthier and safer too!
Training & Safer Workplaces
Your safety should be a priority at Ben & Jerry’s. Processing and manufacturing plant jobs come with real risks and working with equipment you’re not properly trained on can result in injury to both yourself and others. With a union contract, you have the ability to secure thorough training programs, improved safety procedures, and regular inspections.