A planned union vote at Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets has been canceled at the request of the union so that federal authorities can investigate new allegations that the retailer violated worker rights to organize in the weeks leading up to the vote.
The retailer subsequently denied the charges, and called them a delay tactic.
The vote had been scheduled to take place Oct. 17, but a memo from the National Labor Relations Board issued Oct. 16 said the union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, requested that the vote be canceled so as to allow the agency to investigate, among other charges, allegations that certain workers saw their hours cut as a result of their support of a union, and were told they would not get raises as a result of the activity.
The Mount Kisco, N.Y., store has been the scene of long-standing tension between workers and the retailer, resulting in the firing — and subsequent court-ordered rehiring — of eight workers said to have supported formation of a union at the store. The workers were fired following a failed union vote there in 2013.
"Mrs. Green's management is clearly intimidated by their employees banding together to collectively demand more from their employer, and the company has repeatedly shown they are willing to do whatever it takes, including breaking federal labor laws, to keep the union out," UFCW Local 1500 president Bruce Both said in a statement.
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A spokesman for Mrs. Green’s parent Natural Markets Food Group told SN: “It is apparent that union bosses are using these desperate delay tactics because they believed Mrs. Green’s associates — in a secret, government-supervised election — would vote against them.
“But delaying the vote won’t hide reality: the entire family at Mrs. Green’s Natural Market — from the company leadership to our customers —has never been prouder of its hard-working associates. It is why we provide them with industry-leading benefits and promotional opportunities from within. Most important, the Mrs. Green’s family listens to and respects our associates. We always will.
“We hope these meritless accusations can get resolved quickly so that associates can have the right to choose for themselves.”
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