OPINION: Trader Joe’s United: We need customers to strike with us

Trader Joe’s United

As our fight for a fair contract continues on, Trader Joe’s management is blocking the free and fair elections they promised their workers and fighting us every step of the way.

Because Trader Joe’s United is an independent Labor union 100 percent founded and powered by Trader Joe’s workers, we don’t have the deep pockets that Trader Joe’s management has. Every step of this fight has been supported by crew members and customers coming together to build this movement.

We often hear from our supporters that they’re boycotting Trader Joe’s to show their support for the union. While we appreciate the sentiment, that doesn’t help. Individual boycotts don’t make a dent in corporate’s bottom line, and even if they did, corporate wouldn’t attribute that dip to union support.

To be effective, our union needs to tell Trader Joe’s how many customers are with us, and be able to credibly threaten an action if we give the signal. That’s why we aren’t considering the term “boycott” – if we want to make a difference, we need customers to go on strike with us.

We have to consider all of our options if Trader Joe’s continues to union bust and refuse to bargain in good faith. If it comes down to it, a customer strike could be on the table to send a message to Trader Joe’s demanding they respect our right to organize and negotiate a contract.

Would you participate in a customer strike to support Trader Joe’s United? You can sign on and let us know at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/stand-with-trader-joes-united-sign-on-in-solidarity.

Trader Joe’s corporate has made their plan clear: They’re using their unlimited resources and union-busting lawyers to intimidate employees and retaliate against union support, all in the hopes that our movement will lose momentum.

One of the best ways to fight back against these union-busting tactics is with people power. A customer strike could give us the means to do just that.

Trader Joe’s customers have the ability to use the power of the purse to show corporate that you won’t shop there until Trader Joe’s becomes a workplace that actually reflects the values they claim to have. But just like when our crew members do a solidarity action, we all need to do it at the same time in order to make a difference.

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