Trader Joe’s has escalated its disagreement with union members in Kentucky by lodging another appeal challenging the outcome of their union’s victory in a January 2023 election. Despite a regional director for the National Labor Relations Board confirming the union’s win, Trader Joe’s persists in contesting the results, alleging undue influence by the union during the vote at a Louisville store.
The company argues that the union and its supporters engaged in coercive behavior, impeding a fair election. Trader Joe’s is now urging the NLRB’s board in Washington to reevaluate the regional director’s decision and conduct a new election.
Seth Goldstein, an attorney representing the union, criticized Trader Joe’s stance, likening it to “election denialism” and drawing parallels to the contentious 2020 presidential election. He accused the company of selectively embracing democracy, only when it suits its interests.
Trader Joe’s, represented by the law firm Morgan Lewis, alleges that union organizers unlawfully pressured workers to vote in favor of the union. One crucial aspect of their argument revolves around testimony concerning union gestures made by Goldstein, which the labor board’s regional director deemed lawful.
The union secured victory in the Louisville store with a vote of 48-36, marking the fourth Trader Joe’s store to unionize since July 2022.
Amid accusations of labor law violations, including retaliation against union supporters, Trader Joe’s recently defended itself by challenging the constitutionality of the NLRB itself.
Trader Joe’s employee and union leader Connor Hovey criticized the company’s repeated challenges following the election, labeling them as “baseless” and indicative of abuse of the NLRB’s appeals system.
This ongoing dispute underscores the tensions between Trader Joe’s and its employees seeking union representation, highlighting broader issues surrounding labor rights and collective bargaining.
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