Ben & Jerry’s workers in flagship Vermont store file for union election
Ben & Jerry’s brand ice cream sits in a supermarket freezer.
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Ben and Jerry’s workers at the ice cream company’s flagship store in Burlington, Vermont, are filing for a union election Monday.
The move adds to a string of service industry union drives, including at Starbucks and Trader Joe’s.
Workers at the Burlington store have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for an election. Their organization, dubbed “Scoopers United,” has the backing of the same union that launched Starbucks’ fast-growing organizing campaign, according to a release from the group.
That union, Workers United, has won union elections at hundreds of Starbucks locations across the country at a rapid pace.
If the Burlington workers approve a unionization vote, their store would be the first Ben & Jerry’s location in the U.S. to do so.
Ben & Jerry’s did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
In its decadeslong history, the company has become well known for putting its weight behind social justice causes, which became particularly notable amid the George Floyd protests of 2020.
Ben & Jerry’s has even sued its parent company, Unilever, when its actions came into conflict with Ben & Jerry’s stated social mission.
A unionization push will put Ben & Jerry’s corporate ideals to the test, according to Scoopers United.
“Collectively, we have come to embody Ben and Jerry’s slogan of ‘peace, love, and ice cream,'” the group wrote.
The workers have asked Ben & Jerry’s to sign a code of conduct that would hold the company to respecting workers’ right to organize, while refraining from union-busting.
The company’s stance on this recent unionization push isn’t yet known. In 1998, the company challenged a unionization attempt made by maintenance workers in its Vermont plant, arguing the union vote should be held among all plant workers.