Last week, the UFCW and NYC Trader Joe’s Wine Shop Organizing Committee responded to the closure of New York’s only Trader Joe’s Wine Shop after workers at the store tried to unionize. Trader Joe’s employees who have been impacted by the store closure launched a community petition in an effort to fight the company’s anti-union tactics.
The UFCW and NYC Trader Joe’s Wine Shop Organizing Committee released the following joint statement:
“Today, the UFCW and Trader Joe’s employees are calling out the company’s abrupt closure of the Union Square Wine Shop location as egregious and blatant union-busting. Workers at the store are calling on Trader Joe’s to reopen the location and protect their jobs, wages, and schedules.
“The UFCW is ready to pursue all legal action, including filing charges against Trader Joe’s for their shameless union-busting. If the company retaliates further against workers involved in organizing efforts, the UFCW will aggressively pursue all legal recourse available and, if Trader Joe’s fails to meet their commitments to these workers, the UFCW will make every effort to assist workers in getting jobs in union stores. As America’s grocery and retail union, the UFCW will use every tool and resource at our disposal to protect and support every worker who has been unfairly targeted by Trader Joe’s union-busting while fighting to build a better workplace.
“Several months ago, Trader Joe’s Wine Shop employees at the Union Square location began working with the UFCW to help build an effective organizing strategy in the store and were close to publicly announcing their intention to file for a union election. In recent weeks, wine shop workers have been asked by Trader Joe’s management about their opinion on unionization efforts and believed that management was aware of their organizing efforts in the store. Trader Joe’s then abruptly closed the shop in the middle of the night without a formalized plan to open another location.
“This move came as a complete shock not only to the shop’s deeply loyal customer base but to veteran employees at the store, and followed repeated public statements from Trader Joe’s leadership that they will cooperate with stores that have chosen to unionize.
“By abruptly closing this store, it’s clear that Trader Joe’s is engaging in an illegal union-busting technique that has been utilized by other national corporations facing organizing campaigns of their own, like Starbucks and Amazon.
“Today, the Wine Shop Organizing Committee is releasing a public petition calling on Trader Joe’s to reopen the beloved Union Square Wine Shop location and, if the store does not reopen, ensure that workers are guaranteed fair placement opportunities in other stores while maintaining hours and wages. The Organizing Committee is asking for every Trader Joe’s customer and supporter to make their voices heard in support of the staff impacted by Trader Joe’s illegal union-busting.”
You can support the Trader Joe’s Wine Shop employees by signing the petition here. Trader Joe’s employees who are interested in unionizing their store can find more information about organizing resources here.