Retail Roadblocks And Dinner Theater Jousting

by | Nov 17, 2022 | Federal, IBT, Industry, NLRB, Tech - Media, Union Organizing, Unions

The media’s haste to declare the “next Starbucks” hasn’t yielded any true contenders for the title so far. Plenty of brags and stumbles have led to initial victories at Trader Joes, Apple, Chipotle, and Amazon with follow-up efforts proving to be more difficult than organizers would initially imagine while promising the moon to workers.

This month brings several notable updates from retailers, food service, and more:

  • Home Depot retail workers shut down the first unionization attempt at a Philadelphia location. The failed effort followed a recent “rally” that only drew about 20 supporters despite plenty of publicity from a local radio station.
  • Medieval Times workers in California voted to form the dinner-theater company’s first union. In doing so, they allege that performers put their safety at risk while performing stunts as knights and horsemen, and they wish to be compensated accordingly. The workers join the American Guild of Variety Artists, which represents workers at Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland.
  • Columbus Museum of Art workers voted to unionize while following the example of staffers at several prominent institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and several New York museums.
  • Bueno Beverage workers voted to join the Teamsters in California while claiming that the company fired three union organizers.
  • Little Dog Coffee Shop managers filed an unfair labor action while alleging that they were fired in Maine after supporting the organizing efforts of hourly workers.
  • Chipotle’s permanent shuttering of a Maine restaurant put them in the NLRB’s crosshairs with the board determining that the company violated federal law by closing a location with union activity. The board recommends that the company be required to reopen the restaurant and prepare for bargaining. However, Chipotle insists that they closed the location due to staffing shortages.

In decertification news, Oregon’s Tillamook Creamery Association is in the midst of a second effort to oust the Teamsters from representing the dairy co-op’s 225 workers.

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