Louisville Trader Joe’s becomes grocer’s 3rd union store

Workers voted 48-36 in favor of joining the independent Trader Joe’s United union. Bargaining sessions with the company will be held next week.
A third Trader Joe's store has voted to unionize. / Photo: Shutterstock

Trader Joe’s workers in Louisville, Kentucky, voted 48-36 in favor of joining the Trader Joe’s United union, according to election results released late Thursday.

The store becomes the third to join the independent union, which was launched last year by Trader Joe’s workers in Hadley, Massachusetts.

“The main takeaway from this union drive is that we will never let divisiveness win,” said Connor Hovey, an employee and union organizer at the Louisville Trader Joe’s. “We are very excited to bring our concerns to the bargaining table, with the hopes that Trader Joe’s will have the best intentions while we bargain for our first contract.”

Representatives from the Louisville store will join those from Hadley, which unionized in July, and Minneapolis, which voted to join the union shortly after. The next bargaining dates are Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Trader Joe’s United.

Trader Joe’s did not immediately respond to a WGB request for comment on the union election in Louisville.

Trader Joe’s United had its first bargaining session with the Monrovia, California-based grocer in November.

Last fall, workers at a Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn, New York, voted against joining the union by a vote of 64 in favor and 94 against.

In September, workers at a New Seasons Market in Portland, Oregon, voted to become the first in the chain to unionize.

The push to unionize was driven by Trader Joe’s workers who stayed on the job throughout the pandemic and are now seeking better wages, benefits and employee safety, union organizer Maeg Yosef, an 18-year Trader Joe’s employee, told WGB last year.

“We really just were grocery store workers who started to talk about how a union could benefit us,” Yosef said. “We worked through the pandemic. We saw other places like Starbucks had been unionizing. ... It felt a lot tougher during the pandemic because the stakes were a lot higher for everyone who worked.”

Since late 2021, more than 250 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize.



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