For Immediate Release - November 8th 2023
PORTLAND, OR. Workers at Two more Portland-area New Seasons Market Stores have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board this week to unionize with New Seasons Labor Union.
Workers at the chain’s Sellwood location at 1214 SE Tacoma St, Portland, OR submitted their filing to the Board on Monday, November 6th. They were followed on Wednesday, November 8th by workers at the 3445 N Williams Ave location.
Workers cite an unforgiving and difficult to navigate attendance policy as a top reason for organizing, as well as low pay and inconsistent task-based scheduling. New Seasons Labor Union is currently in the process of negotiating an improved attendance policy with the company for union-represented stores.
“After two & a half years of work and a promotion, I still don't make enough money to buy the groceries that I stock.” Said Ethan Harrison, an online shopping lead at the Williams location. “If New Seasons Market won't fight for me to have dignified wages, then I'm gonna join a Union that can!"
“New Seasons has always been about community, and at the heart of that community are the hard working employees that make each and every New Seasons Market so welcoming and unique.’ Said Clover Sutton, an Operations Assistant at Williams. “I support unionizing because every New Seasons Market employee should have a voice in the community we have helped to create” she continued.
The Sellwood location’s workers previously tried to unionize with the newly-formed NSLU in September of 2022, but fell short by four votes, with a result of 29 to 33 against. Organizers in the store say positive union sentiment at the store has grown since then, as NSLU has more firmly established itself. The union has grown to about 900 workers - up from zero at the time of Sellwood’s last election. About 85 workers at the Sellwood location would join the Union if a majority vote for representation this time around.
“Conversations around union representation have taken on a different tone since last year,” says Jimbo Heiner, a sous chef at the store. “We can point to clear and specific wins from ongoing bargaining that show what we can achieve when we stand together.”
NSLU is in ongoing negotiations with New Seasons Market regarding the wages, hours, and working conditions of its members. The union has already wrested several tentative concessions from the company, including the right for cashiers to sit at the checkstand, which will go into effect when a full collective agreement is ratified by members.
Election dates for both stores are yet to be determined by the National Labor Relations Board.
New Seasons Labor Union is an independent, worker-led union of New Seasons Market employees founded in 2022. The union currently represents about 900 workers at 8 Portland-area stores.
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