Retail  July 26, 2022

UFCW files petition for union vote at Boulder Trader Joe’s

BOULDER — Workers at the Trader Joe’s grocery store at 1906 28th St. are attempting to unionize after United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 filed a petition for a union election on their behalf Tuesday. 

That makes the Boulder store the third Trader Joe’s in the country to file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board after stores in Minneapolis and Hadley, Mass. The Hadley store will have its election later this month. The Minneapolis store will have its election in August. Workers at those locations are forming their own unions; employees in Boulder are trying to join UFCW Local 7.

“They’ve been wanting to do it for a while,” Kim Cordova, UFCW Local 7 president, told BizWest. “There’s interest from workers all over this country to join a union. They’re looking for any path they can find to fight for better wages, better working conditions.”

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Jim Hammons, organizing director for UFCW Local 7, said the union believes that the Boulder Trader Joe’s location employs about 110 workers.

The Trader Joe’s union petition comes on the heels of several other notable labor-relations events in the past year. Earlier this year, nurses at Centura Health’s Longmont United Hospital voted to unionize in part as a reaction to understaffing. 

Workers with Boulder bakery Spruce Confections LLC voted in late 2021 to join the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, and Grain Millers Union Local 26 and are now negotiating for their first collective bargaining agreement. Employees at the Starbucks coffee shop in Superior became the first Starbucks in the state to unionize.

And in January, more than 8,000 union workers from nearly 80 King Soopers locations throughout metro Denver and the Boulder Valley — including employees in Boulder, Broomfield, Louisville and Westminster — went on strike for more than a week demanding pay raises, elimination of a two-tiered salary system that punishes newly hired workers, job outsourcing to non-union workers and stronger health and safety protections.

Cordova said some of the issues raised by employees at the Boulder Trader Joe’s include a reduction in the company’s 401(k) match and pay disparity between new hires and longtime employees.

“Employees want a seat at the table,” Cordova said. “They want a share of their employers’ incredible success. It’s about respect at work.”

Now, Trader Joe’s has the option to voluntarily recognize the union. If they don’t, employees will vote on whether to unionize. At least 50% of employees must vote in favor for the store to join UFCW Local 7. After that, the union would have one year to negotiate a collective-bargaining agreement with Trader Joe’s.

“We’re ready for a fight,” Cordova said. “We’re ready to answer the need of workers who want representation.”

Representatives from Trader Joe’s did not respond to requests for comment.

BOULDER — Workers at the Trader Joe’s grocery store at 1906 28th St. are attempting to unionize after United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 filed a petition for a union election on their behalf Tuesday. 

That makes the Boulder store the third Trader Joe’s in the country to file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board after stores in Minneapolis and Hadley, Mass. The Hadley store will have its election later this month. The Minneapolis store will have its election in August. Workers at those locations are forming their own unions; employees in Boulder are trying to join…

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