Associates at the Hadley, Mass. Trader Joe’s have reportedly become the first workers in the chain to unionize, according to CNBC, The New York Times and other media reports. The location, about 80 miles west of Boston, is one of three Trader Joe’s stores to initiate unionization efforts.
Employees at the Hadley location filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board in early June 2022, stating that it had support from more than 50% of the store’s workers. The union vote passed 45-31, and workers will now organize under Trader Joe’s United, an independent entity not affiliated with any existing union. However, organizers received administrative and legal help from established unions, according to Maeg Yosef, a leader of the union campaign.
The unionization effort began in May 22 with an open letter to Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane that cited concerns about pay, benefits and safety. In June, the retailer stated that it would “welcome a fair vote and [is] prepared to hold a vote if more than 30% of the crew wants one.”
Unionization efforts have been spreading throughout retail and adjacent industries this year, spearheaded by the unionization of more than 100 Starbucks stores. Workers at Amazon, Apple, Target and Chipotle also have organized union drives, with varying degrees of success.