workers at a store in Hadley, Mass.
voted 45-31 to unionize, becoming
the first at that company to do so, according to the National Labor Relations
The Washington Post reported that Trader
workers at the Hadley store cited the degradation of their benefits, health and
safety concerns related to the pandemic, and pay as the impetus for forming an
independent union at their store. Some workers at the store make $16 an hour.
The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $14.25 an hour.
“There’s been a really clear trend over the past 10
years of Trader Joe’s chipping away at our benefits,”
said Maeg Yosef, a leader of the union drive who has
worked at the Hadley store for 18 years. “We all see that, and it’s
really obvious to us that the way to protect each other is through a union
spokesperson for Trader Joe’s disputed the workers’
allegations, adding that the company’s salaries, benefits and working conditions
remain top notch.
“Trader Joe’s offers its Crew Members a package of pay,
benefits, and working conditions that is among the best in the grocery
business. Despite this, employees in our Hadley, Mass., store recently voted to
be represented by a union,” said Nakia Rohde, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s.
“We are prepared to immediately begin
discussions with union representatives for the employees at this store to
negotiate a contract.”
workers in Hadley announced their union drive in May, Trader Joe’s
workers in Minneapolis and Boulder, Colorado, have filed for union elections.
The store in Minneapolis will hold its election the second week in August. There are more than
530 Trader Joe’s locations in the country.
U.S. Adds 528,000 Jobs in July
added 528,000 new jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to pre-pandemic
levels, according to the latest jobs report released by the Labor Department on Friday.
Hiring was broad-based as businesses created the most new jobs in five months, reported MarketWatch. The number of people working finally returned to February 2020 levels — the last month before the pandemic.
unemployment rate, meanwhile, slipped to 3.5% from 3.6%, matching the lowest
level since the late 1960s.
the jobs lost during the pandemic have now been regained,” Seema Shah, chief
global strategist at Principal Global Investors, told MarketWatch. “But while
that is positive news, markets will take today’s number as a timely reminder
that there is significantly more Fed hiking still to come.”
some businesses have cut back on hiring or even resorted to layoffs, many
companies are still filling open jobs. Most are offering higher pay for new
workers or raising wages for current employees to keep them from leaving.
key details from the jobs reported include: Hotels, bars, restaurants and other companies
in the hospitality business added 96,000 jobs. Professional businesses created
89,000 jobs, healthcare employment rose by 70,000 and government payrolls
increased by 57,000. Manufacturers also added 30,000 jobs while construction
firms hired 32,000 people.
Shopify to Cut 10% of Global Workforce
giant Shopify Inc. recently announced it was cutting roughly 1,000 workers, or 10% of its global
to the Wall Street
Journal, Tobi Lütke, the company’s founder and chief executive, told staff in a
memo sent last week that the layoffs are necessary as consumers
resume old shopping habits and pull back on the online orders that fueled the
company’s recent growth.
Lütke said he had expected that surging e-commerce
sales growth would last past the COVID-19 pandemic’s ebb. “It’s now clear that bet didn’t
pay off,” said Mr. Lütke in the letter, which was reviewed by the Journal. “Ultimately,
placing this bet was my call to make and I got this wrong.”
Ottawa-based company will cut jobs in all its divisions, though most of the
layoffs will occur in recruiting, support and sales units, said Mr. Lütke.
also eliminating overspecialized and duplicate roles, as well as some groups
that were convenient to have but too far removed from building products,”
job cuts are the first big layoffs the company has announced since Lütke
started the company in 2006. Shopify is offering 16 weeks of severance to
the laid-off workers, plus one week for every year of service.
workforce has increased from 1,900 in 2016 to roughly 10,000 in 2021, according
to the company’s filings. The hiring spree was made to help
keep up with booming business. E-commerce shopping surged during the pandemic,
and many small-business owners created online stores to sell goods and services.
UK Train Drivers Will Strike on Aug. 13 in Dispute Over Pay
BBC has reported that train drivers at nine UK rail companies will strike
on Aug. 13 in a dispute over pay.
They include Avanti West Coast, Cross Country, Arriva Rail London, Great
Western, LNER, Greater Anglia, Southeastern,
Hull Trains and West
Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), the
British trade union representing train drivers,
said strikes were a “last resort” but the rising cost of living meant workers
had faced a real terms pay cut.
Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said the union did not want to inconvenience
passengers “but we’ve been forced into this position by the
companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Tory government.”
“With inflation running at north of 10% that
means those drivers have had a
real terms pay cut over the last
three years,” he said. “We want an increase in line with the cost of
living — we want to be able to buy, in 2022, what we could buy in 2021.”
rail strikes have already gone ahead this summer and there are more planned,
with unions including Aslef and the RMT rejecting deals from train
companies and Network Rail.
The Department for Transport said train drivers were earning just under £60,000 per year, “more than twice the UK average and significantly more than the very workers who will be most impacted by these strikes.”
“It’s incredibly disappointing Aslef
bosses have announced more destructive strike action, particularly when it has
become clear they have no interest in holding constructive talks with the
industry,” a statement said.
Family Dollar Faces $1.2 Million in Fines for Workplace Safety Violations
As reported by
two Family Dollar stores
in Ohio have been fined $1.2 million for
safety violations and hazardous
working conditions in their
The Department of Labor’s
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the penalties on Monday.
According to the announcement, since
2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s
Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state OSHA programs have
conducted more than 500 inspections at Family Dollar and Dollar Tree — operated
by their parent company, Dollar Tree Inc.
and found more than 300 violations. During these inspections, OSHA routinely
find exit routes, fire extinguishers and electrical panels dangerously
obstructed or blocked; unsafe walking-working surfaces; and unstable stacks of
stores that have been fined are
located in Maple Heights and
Columbus. They were found to have “hazardous conditions”
such as unsafe stacks of goods, blocked exits, and inaccessible fire
extinguishers, according to OSHA.
federal regulators accused Family Dollar of “flagrantly ignoring workplace safety regulations”
and continuing to “expose employees to the risk of injuries.”
Family Dollar has 15 business days to either pay or contest the fines.