A Second Trader Joe's Just Voted To Unionize

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Trader Joe's workers in Hadley, Massachusetts had become the first employees of the grocery chain to file for a union election. Workers alleged a host of management-related complaints, from inadequate health and safety protections to scheduling transgressions to free speech violations. Talk of unionization started spreading around the store, backed by the independent nonprofit Trader Joe's United, and before long, a Trader Joe's worker was told to go home for refusing to remove a pro-union pin from their hat (via HuffPost). 

Hadley workers may have been the first to push for unionization at Trader Joe's, but they're far from the only ones to speak out about unsavory working conditions at the company. Last year, TJ's made headlines when an employee was fired for requesting COVID-19 protections, such as stricter face mask policies. More recently, a group of TJ's workers in New York City's Murray Hill neighborhood became angry with store management for failing to inform them of an active shooter threat in the store, per a video shared on Reddit. A couple of months before that, Trader Joe's lost a $44,000 employee lawsuit for violating a Seattle law related to employee scheduling. 

On Tuesday, More Perfect Union tweeted that a second Trader Joe's store has filed for a union vote, this time in Minneapolis.

The workers are demanding 'better safety, protection from arbitrary termination,' and more

Per a tweet shared by More Perfect Union, Trader Joe's workers in downtown Minneapolis have followed in Hadley's footsteps by campaigning for a union vote with support from Trader Joe's United. They're rallying for "better safety, protection from arbitrary termination, and a voice in their workplace" after a string of unsuccessful confrontations with management. Trader Joe's United shared a number of posts on Twitter, several of which show workers "marching on the boss" inside the store. In one video, the boss in question appears to be standing beside the speaker looking somewhat impartial. 

Trader Joe's two-store campaign is adding to the growing list of union drives making huge waves at corporate chains like at Starbucks, Amazon, Chipotle, and REI. If Trader Joe's two union votes are successful, more locations of the grocery retailer will very likely follow suit.