Mrs. Green’s said Wednesday that the company would reinstate eight workers who were let go in the aftermath of a controversial union vote at its Mount Kisco, N.Y., store. The agreement, reached with the cooperation of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, will end proceedings on a complaint that was to be argued before the National Labor Relations Board this week.
The agreement calls for the Irvington, N.Y.-based retailer to reinstate the employees in the same or equivalent jobs, with back pay, as early as next week, sources said. The store will provide the associates appropriate training about the updated brand and new procedures since they were let go in January.
The union argued that the firings of the eight workers, who were said to have supported the formation of a union at Mrs. Green’s, violated terms of a settlement of an earlier dispute between Mrs. Green’s and Local 1500, stemming from a union vote that was narrowly defeated in June 2013.
“Mrs. Green’s Natural Market is proud of its associates — employing more full-time associates than its competitors, giving bonuses and discounts to hourly employees, and creating profit sharing and promotional opportunities for our team members — and today’s agreement honors that core value,” John Collins, a spokesman for Mrs. Green’s, told SN. “Store leadership embraces these values and core principles and has stepped forward to do the right thing for its associates. Now we are moving forward with a shared commitment to provide Mount Kisco families with organic, local and all-natural products and access to a healthier lifestyle.”
Pat Brown, the former New Seasons Markets COO who joined Mrs. Green’s last month, helped to bring about the agreement with help from Mount Kisco mayor Michael Cindrich, Collins said. Brown is expected to be named CEO of Mrs. Green’s parent Natural Markets Food Group shortly.
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