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Employee benefits at center of Whole Foods workers’ union drive

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2018 | Union Representation |

While unions in New York face many difficulties and obstacles as they seek to maximize the wages and benefits that their union members get, one of the toughest situations for workers is when they do not have a union at all and are trying to form one. There can be an endless number of reasons why employees want to unionize. One that is common is when there is a new owner of the business they work for and they have concerns as to what the future holds. When trying to form a union for collective bargaining, to ensure the employer adheres to labor laws and to get the best possible employee benefits, it is critical to have a law firm that understands how to represent unions.

Our readers may have seen news reports that, since the business was bought by Amazon, employees of Whole Foods Market have sought to form a union. They are concerned that Amazon plans to reduce their benefits as it moves forward with the ongoing changes it is making. There are nearly 500 locations across the nation. Some employees emailed other workers at all stores. They did so trying to garner support for the proposed union. Their goal is to ensure Amazon understands workers’ concerns as a group and to get improved pay and benefits. They are pushing for the union with help from the New York-based Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. There are 100,000 members in the union.

Whole Foods has been hit with layoffs and there was a consolidation under Amazon. Workers are worried about their future and others that might be on the way. They are seeking an hourly wage of at least $15, improved retirement packages, reduced health insurance and paid maternity leave. Since Amazon was recently valued at $1 trillion and there have been allegations of its mistreatment of workers, the concerns expressed by the workers at Whole Foods are not unfounded.

Unions are an integral part of workers getting fair treatment in myriad ways. A key to negotiating with employers is to have a strong union and unified workers. But first, the union must be formed according to the law and have a full grasp of legal matters. A law firm that has experience with union representation can be of assistance for a group of employees who are trying to form a union.