City Feed Owners ‘Will Not Be Voluntarily Recognizing’ Employees’ Unionization Effort

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The owners of City Feed and Supply informed their employees that they will not be voluntarily recognizing their desire to unionize.

Owners David Warner and Kristine Cortese provided a letter to City Feed employees on April 9 informing them of their decision.

"We believe that we can accomplish more together, and work through our obstacles without a third party between us. We don't believe that joining a union is the only way forward for the workers of City Feed and Supply. A union will cost us all money, and demand a substantial amount of time; time that could be spent building back the business from the pandemic into a place where we can all work together and thrive," says the letter.

On March 30 employees informed the owners that they want to unionize for the right to bargain for, "...equitable and living wages, healthcare and benefits, and a voice at work over issues of safety, harassment, COVID sick leave, and other working conditions that affect our physical, emotional, and financial well-being."

After receiving the owners' letter, the @CityFeedUnite Twitter handle said that the employees weren't sure what their next steps would be, and they will provide updates to the public when they are able to do so.

The employees were asking City Feed for voluntary recognition rather than a formal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) vote. The owners can decide to do that and skip the formal election.

The owners' letter said that if the employees decided to proceed, "...we will honor and anonymous democratic election run by the NLRB which will ensure that every eligible City Feed worker has a chance to vote, as this decision affects everyone in the company."

WGBH previously reported that 30 percent of workers need to sign cards or a petition in support of a union for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold an election. It was believed that at least 60 percent of City Feed employees are in support of joining a union.

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