The staff members of the food cooperative claimed “unfair labor practices” in a U.S. National Labor Relations Board complaint filed on their behalf by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The employees are requesting additional staffing to help with their work load, improved scheduling, and more transparency from leadership, according to the Post.
While the member-owned and operated grocery store is run by its 17,000 members who volunteer just under three hours a month in exchange for shopping the coop’s selection of local, organic, and sustainable products, the shop also employs approximately 75 paid, full-time staffers.
The complaint filed last month states that coop employers “were changing terms and conditions of employment and were using coercive statements and actions such as surveillance or threats,” Patch reported.
Joe Holtz, General Manager of the Park Slope Food Coop, declined to comment when contacted by Bklyner and referred us to a statement about union organizing on the store’s website.
“The General Coordinators, the management team of the Park Slope Food Coop, recognize the right of any group of people to form legal associations to meet their collective needs and support their mutual benefit. This includes the right of Coop employees to choose to organize or join a union in the workplace,” the statement reads.
“The General Coordinators will work to ensure that the decision to unionize is an employee decision and that staff can participate in all efforts to organize,” it continues. “Following Coop principles, we would like to see that any decision by our staff will be made democratically.”