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WSLC puts Catapult NW on its ‘Do Not Patronize’ list

UPDATE (March 14, 2024) — With the ratification of its new contract, Catapult NW has been removed from the WSLC “Do Not Patronize” list. The WSLC joins UNITE HERE Local 8 in encouraging union members and community supporters to buy products distributed by Catapult NW, particularly union-made Homegrown sandwiches. Follow this link for Homegrown locations and catering information:

SEATTLE (Dec. 6, 2023) — The Executive Board of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC) voted last week to put Catapult NW on the “Do Not Patronize” list of the state’s largest union organization, representing more than 600 union locals with more than 500,000 rank-and-file members in Washington.

The move comes after Catapult NW workers voted unanimously about a month ago to call for a boycott of the company, which distributes a variety of food and beverage products, such as Molly’s sandwiches and Blazing Bagels, to multiple cafes, hospitals, and other clients in Washington and Oregon. The WSLC is now urging all union households to avoid purchasing Catapult NW-distributed products at those locations.

TAKE A STAND — Union members and their families who frequent independent cafes or other clients that receive Catapult NW-distributed products are urged to ask those businesses or institutions to honor the boycott. You can send a message to Catapult NW CEO Brad Gillis to let his company know that you’ll honor the boycott and not buy Catapult NW-distributed goods.

Workers at Catapult NW joined together and won their union with UNITE HERE Local 8 in 2022, and have been bargaining for a first contract in 2023. While the union reports progress has been made at the bargaining table, workers still need affordable health care and job security in their first contract.

“Our Executive Board does not take this action lightly,” said WSLC President April Sims. “We invited Catapult NW management to address workers’ concerns and explain why it has been such a struggle to get a fair first contract. But management was unresponsive. So the WSLC board voted to support the Catapult NW workers’ boycott and urge all union members and community supporters to avoid purchasing products distributed by Catapult NW.”

Last year, Catapult NW workers went on strike over the installation of surveillance cameras in their vehicles. After what was believed to be the nation’s first strike over worker surveillance, the driver-facing cameras were disabled, and ultimately, the system was entirely removed.

“I’ve worked for Catapult NW for 5 years, both inside the warehouse and as a delivery driver,” said Jamai. “Catapult NW wants me to pay almost $400 per month for health insurance to cover me and my daughter. Even working full time, I can’t afford that! I don’t even have health coverage for myself right now. With what I make I’m struggling to keep my car working and to cover my bills. Paying my bills, raising my daughter, and being able to keep the two of us healthy are not luxuries. That’s why I’m fighting for Catapult to do the right thing.”

Workers are currently reaching out to establishments doing business with Catapult NW, asking them to honor the boycott until workers get a fair contract.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!