Virginia Costco Workers Vote to Join Teamsters Union


Costco workers in Norfolk, Va. have voted to join the Teamsters Local 822, with the union calling this its first organizing victory at the wholesale retailer in two decades. The 238-worker group will join more than 18,000 Teamsters at Costco nationwide.

Successful unionization efforts in the retail industry have been relatively rare, but they may pick up steam this year following a strong year for labor in 2023, with successful strikes by the United Auto Workers against the Big Three carmakers and by SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America against Hollywood studios.

The Teamsters had ratified a first-ever national master agreement for Costco in October 2022, boosting wages and pension contributions by the retailer and providing benefits including a more flexible attendance policy. Many Costco workers in Norfolk cited the national contract as a catalyst for organizing, according to a Teamsters statement.

“This campaign was all about standing together as a group and taking control over our well-being in the workplace,” said Damion Thomas, a Costco cashier who served on the organizing committee. “We can’t wait to be covered under a strong Teamster contract that will give us a real voice and bring real change to the job.”


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