By Jeff Metzger
Source: Food Trade News

It’s too early to call it a trend, but all non-union retailers surely have been put on notice with the recent unionization successes of Amazon and Starbucks. Another merchant where associates have also ratified a new, first-time contract is FreshDirect, the pure-play online grocer that was acquired in January 2021 by Ahold Delhaize from a group of investors. The under-the-radar organizational effort reached a critical juncture last October when associates at the perishables-driven delivery service first announced they had secured enough signatures to authorize an election. Parent firm Ahold Delhaize did not object to the process and the two sides have spent the last few months negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement which was finalized earlier this month.

The deal covers approximately 1,800 meatcutters, deli slicers, fish handlers and online order pickers in Manhattan and Brooklyn and at FreshDirect’s 400,000 square feet distribution center in the Bronx. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342 based in Staten Island and Long Island will represent the workers. FreshDirect becomes the third Ahold Delhaize “brand” to be organized following Stop & Shop and Giant Food which have been union shops for more than 60 years. Food Lion, Hannaford and The Giant Company remain unorganized.

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