Judge Throws Out Union Vote at Fresh & Easy Supplier

An administrative law judge has thrown out results of a hotly contested union vote that took place last year at a meat supplier for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, saying that the supplier unfairly fired an openly pro-union employee prior to the vote.

LOS ANGELES — An administrative law judge has thrown out results of a hotly contested union vote that took place last year at a meat supplier for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market [2], saying that the supplier unfairly fired an openly pro-union employee prior to the vote.

Employees at 2 Sisters Food Group last July voted against representation by the United Food and Commercial Workers union by a count of 87-66. The supplier, based in Riverside, Calif., has subsequently been acquired by Fresh & Easy.

Administrative law Judge Lana Parke in a written decision overruled many of the contentions of UFCW Local 1167 in its unfair labor charge. But Parke said 2 Sisters had illegally terminated Xonia Trespalacios shortly before the election, and that the company coerced employees by then showing them a video of Trespalacios’ encounters with employees as an example of union “mistreatment.”

The judge said the company must offer to reinstate Trespalacios to her former job and provide for lost wages and benefits. The union may choose to call for another union vote.