Workers at New Seasons' Slabtown store voted 62-14 to unionize Thursday, making them the second shop to join the burgeoning New Seasons Labor Union (NSLU).
Employees at the Slabtown store at NW Raleigh St. and 22nd Ave. first filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in August. At the time, staff told the Mercury they wanted to push for higher wages, a better work environment, and more input on staff training.
"I am absolutely thrilled by the news of our success," said Steven Weiss, a baker at the Slabtown store and the union's legal representative. "This is not just our victory, it is another win for grassroots, worker driven organizing. We are looking forward to addressing the issues that affect us all, together."
Slabtown is the second New Seasons store to join in the independent NSLU. Workers at New Season's Seven Corners market at SE Division and SE 20th voted to unionize in September. Combined, this expands NSLU membership to around 230.
New Seasons can independently choose to recognize its workers' union without having to hold an NLRB election—but company management has declined this option at every one of the stores that have filed to unionize already. After New Seasons stores began announcing their interest in unionizing this summer, store management rolled out a swift campaign against unionizing, bolstered with the help of a union-busting legal firm.
Other New Seasons markets have attempted to hold union votes in recent months with less success. Workers at two other stores—one in Hillsboro and another in Sellwood—voted against unionizing in September. Three other New Seasons stores spread out across Portland—one in Woodstock, another in Grant Park, and a third in Concordia—are still awaiting a union vote.