Ben & Jerry's scoop shop in Burlington to hold union election
Scoopers at Ben and Jerry’s flagship store in Burlington are holding a union election in hopes of developing a more collaborative relationship with corporate leaders.
If the Ben and Jerry's on Church Street does vote to unionize, it will be the first location to do so.
The tipping point for workers was when management attempted to take away their tip jar early this April, during Free Cone Day, said shift manager and union organizer Parker Kimberly. There was also an overdose incident in the shop, which workers say they were unequipped to handle.
Kimberly said workers just wanted to be more involved with decisions that affect the daily operations of the store.
"And I get that's unusual for shops or companies to incorporate employees like that," Kimberly said, "but kind of felt like within the Ben & Jerry's spirit, we together could work together to solve the problems in the shop."
In a statement, a Ben and Jerry’s spokesperson said the company welcomes the steps the workers have taken because they "share the goal of advancing justice, both inside and outside our company."
"For almost 45 years, we’ve sought to center the principles of justice and equity at the heart of our business model. That’s why we recognize and support the rights of all workers to unionize and collectively bargain," said Sean Greenwood, PR director for Ben & Jerry's.
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