Nearly 30 local farmers markets run by FRESHFARM have voted to unionize with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.
Approximately 25 workers, not individual vendor booths, will be represented by the new union, according to a UFCW Local 400 announcement. In December, a majority of employees signed union authorization cards and filed for a union election which was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Workers were provided with mail-in paper ballots on Jan. 18 and votes were tallied by NLRB officials on Feb. 8.
“We are excited to announce that FRESHFARM has unionized!”, the organizing group said in a statement. “With our union, we will have a greater voice in the workplace and the opportunity to collectively address our working conditions, pay and benefits. We look forward to negotiating our first union contract with the same energy, unity and camaraderie that made our union possible in the first place.”
FRESHFARM said in an Instagram post that the organization was “pleased” that workers voted to unionize and “enthusiastic about working with a collective bargaining unit committed to our mission and shared values of improving our workers’ conditions.”
“The organization strives to create the best farmers markets in the region, and having a professional, well-trained workforce is front and center of these efforts,” FRESHFARM said. “We look forward to strengthening FRESHFARM, increasing equity, and fostering organizational accountability to build a just and sustainable food future for the region.”
There are 28 FRESHFARM markets located throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, including Downtown Silver Spring.
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