Brattleboro Unions Fighting, Winning

About 800 workers at a mental hospital in Brattleboro will benefit from a new union contract. About 160 workers at a grocery store in Brattleboro have been negotiating their union contract. “Negotiations recently broke down. We're getting ready to make some noise,” Joe Crompton told the Valley Post. He has worked as a meat cutter at the Brattleboro Food Co-op for 25 years.

Crompton is running for a seat on the co-op board. Ballots are available now. The deadline to vote is 5 p.m. on November 17.

For years, co-op officials have refused to tell the store's owners – the members – how much the store's general manager is paid. They won't tell reporters either. Crompton said that, if he is elected, he will try to find out the general manager's salary, and if he gets the information, will tell anyone who asks.

The best way to make sure any single candidate gets elected is to vote for that candidate only, leaving the other spaces on the ballot blank. Anyone can vote by joining the co-op for $20. The $20 can be refunded after the election results are announced.

Tom Flood is a worker at the Brattleboro Retreat mental hospital and president of the local union www.unap.org. “It's a good contract,” he told the Valley Post.

The Retreat union's new two year contract covers 550 workers. But all 792 workers at the hospital will benefit.

The co-op workers' union has a web site: www.ufcw1459.com.

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