On April 16, about 80 food delivery workers at Imperfect Foods in San Francisco joined UFCW Local 5 for the better wages and benefits that come with a union contract.
These workers joined our union family because they wanted to strengthen pay, increase access to health care, and improve health and safety protections as they continue to serve as frontline workers. These workers were also concerned about higher incidences of injuries amid a spike in food delivery demand during the pandemic.
Imperfect Foods is a tech-driven grocery startup that delivers surplus or “imperfect” produce and other food products directly to consumers across the country. The campaign to unionize Imperfect Foods workers began in July 2020. Imperfect Foods attempted to stop workers from unionizing by hiring a union-busting consultant and held daily two-hour mandatory meetings for two straight weeks in an attempt to intimidate and pressure workers against exercising their right to unionize with UFCW Local 5. The company threatened to outsource the jobs of these workers to contractors and changed people’s shifts to disrupt the campaign. Additionally, the company promised raises and promotions to workers who voted against unionizing. Despite these obstacles, workers at Imperfect Foods stood together for a better life.
“We organized with UFCW Local 5 because we know companies that profess to do good, like Imperfect Foods, will pursue bottom line profits over the health and safety of their workers unless they are held accountable,” said Imperfect Foods grocery delivery worker Chris Jasinski. “For essential workers like us helping families get the food they need during COVID-19, this is a major victory as we continue to speak out to ensure these are good-paying union jobs our community needs.”
“UFCW Local 5 is organizing the grocery delivery sector because essential workers who deliver our groceries should be able to count on the same benefits and protections as the essential workers in our grocery stores,” said UFCW Local 5 Strategic Campaigns Director Jim Araby. “As technology makes it easier to access groceries during the pandemic, we must ensure that the essential workers in this sector who are on the frontlines are protected and have a voice on the job.”