Minneapolis Trader Joe’s becomes 2nd in country to unionize

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Employees at the downtown Minneapolis Trader Joe’s have voted to form a labor union.

Workers approved the union by an overwhelming 55-5 majority Friday afternoon. Employees embraced and high-fived after a National Labor Relations Board agent announced the tally by the store’s loading dock.

The Minneapolis store on Washington Avenue became the second Trader Joe’s location in the country to unionize after employees in Hadley, Massachusetts, organized last month.

RELATED: 1st Trader Joe’s union approved at Massachusetts store

Sarah Beth Ryther, an employee-organizer with Trader Joe’s United, said she hopes the collective bargaining process results in a “safer and better place” for her workplace, along with improved pay and benefits.

“We are so absolutely excited,” Ryther said. “This has taken so much time and work and dedication from everyone who works here and so many members of our community, and we’re just so appreciative and grateful to everybody, but we’re also really excited to get the hard work started.”

In a statement, a Trader Joe’s spokesperson pointed to the company’s “industry-leading” pay and benefits and touted its 15 months of boosted pandemic pay for crew members, along with recent pay raises in response to inflation.

“While we are concerned about how this new rigid legal relationship will impact Trader Joe’s culture, we are prepared to immediately begin discussions with their collective bargaining representative to negotiate a contract,” the company said in a statement.

Each side has a week to file objections before the results are certified.

If the vote is certified, Trader Joe’s United will represent approximately 80 hourly employees at the Minneapolis store.