Victory for Grocery Workers

"It was essential that we get a union contract," Joe Crompton told the Valley Post. He has worked at the Brattleboro Food Co-op for more two decades. On July 9, workers at the co-op voted to approve their first union contract. About 160 people work at the store.

On average, union workers in the United States earn approximately 27 percent higher wages than non-union workers.

In recent decades, the rich have gotten richer, the middle class has gotten smaller, and the ranks of the poor have swelled.

Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason. So union workers usually have something closer to freedom of speech in the workplace.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at Stop & Shop and UPS.

The Brattleboro Food Co-op workers are members of www.ufcw1459.com.

Another co-op worker asked not to be identified for fear of management reprisal. "It's been a long struggle," the worker said. "This is not the end, but it is a very important milestone. I'm honored to be working with people who put so much of their time into this important effort, as well as potentially risking their jobs."

Long-time co-op manager Alex Gyori reportedly told co-op workers he will retire next year. The co-op board will choose his successor. Board elections are this year. Anyone can join the co-op and and any co-op member can run for election to the board. Information on how to run is at:

www.brattleborofoodcoop.com/images/5_May2014/2014%20board%20candidate%20...

Like nations, some unions are more democratic than others. Information about union members who are working to make their unions more democratic is at www.LaborNotes.org and http://aud2.uniondemocracy.org/contact.

In other Brattleboro union news, 23 town library workers and town office workers joined a union last month. The Brattleboro selectboard voted to recognize the union, and to negotiate a contract with the workers. The workers joined www.iuoelocal98.org.

Comments

Brattleboro co-op

Looking forward to shopping at the co-op knowing that the workers there have earned fair conditions.

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