Over 200 workers at about 70 GrowNYC operations in New York City recently joined the RWDSU/UFCW. The workers in this unit are employed full- and part-time at GrowNYC Greenmarkets, farm stands, and Community Supported Agriculture pick-up locations, and work across GrowNYC’s operations in hundreds of schools in their distribution hubs and in nutrition education and composting.
These workers joined the RWDSU/UFCW after they won voluntary recognition from their employer. They pushed to unionize because of concerns about safety issues amid the rebound of New York City post-pandemic. They were also concerned about workplace harassment (including sexual harassment), unstable scheduling practices, seasonal layoffs with no call-back structure, a lack of structure when it comes to job duties and tasks at work, and favoritism. They are looking forward to negotiating their first union contract, which will address some of these issues.
“I am thrilled with GrowNYC’s decision,” said Erik Menjivar (he/him), who is a GrowNYC greenmarket manager and compost coordinator. “I am happy they are still interested in keeping a good relationship with us as workers by voluntarily recognizing our union. Regardless, we will continue to advocate for our rights which will advance GrowNYC’s mission as a whole.”
“I am really excited to have our union voluntarily recognized by GrowNYC,” said Sitra Bowman (she/her), who is a GrowNYC education and engagement lead at Zero Waste Schools. “Everyone has worked so hard to get us here, and I am so grateful to my fellow members of the GrowNYC Workers Collective for their dedication to this process. We are ready for the next step and hope that GrowNYC can meet us at the bargaining table in good faith.”