About 50 workers at five Union Kitchen stores in Washington, D.C. and Virginia joined UFCW Local 400 for a better life on June 21.
Union Kitchen workers filed for an election in January of this year and the vote was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mail-in paper ballots were distributed to workers on March 15 and votes were tallied over Zoom video conference by NLRB officials on March 29. However, after lengthy delays in which Union Kitchen management attempted to postpone the final count of votes by challenging ballots they previously agreed were eligible, the final vote count was completed on June 21, with workers voting 20 to 11 in favor of unionizing. Now that the union has been officially recognized, negotiations on a first contract can begin shortly.
UFCW Local 400 issued the following statement regarding the organizing win at Union Kitchen:
“We are pleased to announce that Union Kitchen is now unionized! After management spent the last few months attempting to postpone this result, all votes have finally been counted. We won our union. We would like to thank all of our customers, elected officials, community allies, fellow union members and supporters everywhere who never stopped believing this day would come. We know we can count on you moving forward.”
“Now, we call on owner Cullen Gilchrist to respect the outcome of this election, cease his delay tactics, and finally sit down with us to negotiate a union contract.”