Ben & Jerry’s announced Friday that it has reached an agreement with workers at its flagship store in Burlington, Vermont, on a set of rules to ensure fair union elections. announcement What they were trying to organize last week.
The deal could pave the way for the store to become the only unionized Ben & Jerry’s store in the United States. All about 40 workers eligible to join the union at the store have expressed support for joining.
The company indicated that the deal could make the store a better place to work. “This should be seen as a solidarity step in the spirit of constant improvement towards a just, inclusive and equitable workplace,” it said in a statement.
Rebeka Mendelsohn, a shift manager who helped lead the organizing campaign, said she hopes the agreement will encourage workers at other Ben & Jerry’s stores to consider unionizing.
The company is known for the liberal image of co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. joined the company The brand’s parent company, Unilever, opposed the sale of its ice cream rights to a licensee operating in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Ben & Jerry’s agreed to give Workers United, the union that runs the Burlington store, equal time to discuss the campaign and equal space to post materials in the store. Refrain from making defamatory comments about the union. Refrain from intimidation or retaliation against workers who attempt to form a union. Resolve allegations of retaliation through arbitrators.
In addition, if workers form a union and both parties do not conclude a contract within six months, they may request mediation or arbitration.
Mendelsohn said some employees had been talking about forming a union for months, but when management said the store wasn’t going to collect tips at the company’s annual meeting, they were tempted to act. said to have been urged free corn day Early April. Most workers make just over the state minimum wage of $13.18 an hour, and tips are an important source of income, she said.
The manager reversed course and allowed a tip that day.