City Feed Unite (CFU), a union formed by workers at City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain, was recognized through a National Labor Relations Board election on Tuesday, June 14.
Twenty workers voted in favor of the union and ten voted against it. None of the votes were challenged.
Employees at the grocery store and café have been organizing since late March, when they collected a supermajority of union cards from workers at the two JP locations, one on Centre Street and the other on Boylston Street. In late April, the community showed its support of the organizers by attending a rally of over 100 people.
The owners of City Feed, David Warner and Kristine Cortese, refused to voluntarily recognize the union in April, leading to Tuesday’s election. Meanwhile, Warner and Cortese hired law and employment firm Morgan, Brown and Joy, who CFU called in a tweet “one of the oldest anti-union law firms in MA.”
In late May, CFU reportedly received a message from the owners of City Feed asking them once again to proceed without a union and instead work with management to reach their goals. Workers also reported via Twitter that City Feed instituted a hiring freeze and speculated that it was to prevent pro-union workers from being brought on staff.
This victory also comes as Starbucks Workers United has reached 150 unionized Starbucks locations across America, despite reports of Starbucks union-busting.
Moving forward, CFU will negotiate contracts with City Feed’s management, but for now these organizers have won a months-long battle for, as the CFU Twitter bio says, “safety, respect and dignity as working people.”