Homegrown cafe workers vote Union Yes!

Now 2-for-2 on union votes, sandwich workers ready to bargain fair contracts


The following is from UNITE HERE Local 8:

SEATTLE (Dec. 13, 2022) — Workers at Homegrown’s cafes are excited to have won their NLRB union election just weeks after Homegrown’s wholesale distribution workers at Catapult NW won theirs. The cafe workers are eager to join their distribution colleagues in negotiating a fair contract that will provide the wages, benefits, and health and safety protections that would make their jobs at Homegrown sustainable.

Workers in Homegrown’s cafes and wholesale distribution filed for union elections with the NLRB in October after company-wide delegations, picketing, job actions, and leafleting of customers and clients. They have organized as Homegrown Workers Uniting for Sustainable Jobs with UNITE HERE Local 8. (Follow them at @OurUnionIsHG.)

TAKE A STAND Sign the solidarity petition with Homegrown workers to support them as they bargain for a fair contract.

“Me and my coworkers fought and won our union at homegrown today by a huge majority. We are ready to start negotiating a fair contract as soon as possible,” said Homegrown worker Ivy Vance.

“We make Homegrown run, and now we expect to get a contract that recognizes the work we do,” said Catapult NW driver Jamai Jackson.

In August, workers at Homegrown and Catapult NW went on strike over workplace issues including heat, smoke, gender pay disparity, COVID sick-day policy, and installation of worker surveillance cameras. Distribution workers won on the issue of surveillance cameras when the company allowed drivers to turn the in-cab cameras off. Now workers look forward to addressing the remaining issues and pay and benefits in a contract.

UNITE HERE Local 8 President Anita Seth says, “We hope Homegrown’s management can see there is demand in the Puget Sound for wholesale food and catering provided by unionized workers with a fair contract.”

UNITE HERE Local 8 represents about 5,000 workers in the hospitality industries of Oregon & Washington State. Local 8 members work in hotels, restaurants, food service, and airport concessions. They include room cleaners, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage servers, bussers, and dishwashers. Local 8′s parent union, UNITE HERE, represents hotel, food service, and gaming workers throughout the US and Canada. Learn more at UNITEHERE8.org.


► From the Seattle Times — Seattle’s Homegrown cafe workers vote to unionize — Cafe workers at Seattle-based sandwich maker Homegrown voted to form a union Thursday, with an 84% tally in favor, counted at the National Labor Relations Board office in downtown Seattle. Workers at the company’s wholesale division also won an election to unionize in November.


PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

Homegrown workers strike at Seattle, Redmond locations (Aug. 26, 2022) — Sandwich workers at Homegrown, makers of Molly’s, Tosti, Shine, and Bolt products, voted unanimously to strike and walked off the job Thursday at the company’s Queen Anne and Redmond locations. Homegrown workers are demanding fair wages, pay equity, safer working conditions, and a fair process to join together in a union with UNITE HERE Local 8.

Seattle leaders to Homegrown: Agree to card-check process (July 12, 2022) — Six members of the Seattle City Council sent a letter to Homegrown CEO Brad Gillis on Monday, urging him to meet with Homegrown workers and to “agree to a card check neutrality process and respect the decision of a majority of workers if they choose to form a union, free of interference.”

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