Ben & Jerry’s Burlington scoop shop unionization effort moves forward
BURLINGTON — Employees of Ben & Jerry’s flagship store in Burlington took another step toward forming the ice cream chain’s first union on Tuesday.
A group of employees calling itself Scoopers United is seeking to join Workers United, an international union that has been involved in efforts to unionize Starbucks employees. A short press conference was held outside the Church Street scoop shop to announce the results of a key union vote.
State Rep. Kate Logan, P/D-Burlington, was invited by the employees to oversee a “card check,” an important step toward officially forming a union. Logan said 35 of 39 staff voted in favor of unionizing.
“We are ecstatic at this turnout,” said Rebeka Mendelsohn, one of the employee organizers. “We are incredibly proud of all the staff that came forward to do this and we really look forward to the bargaining contract.”
Logan applauded Ben & Jerry’s for allowing time for Tuesday’s card check and recognizing the results.
“It’s a huge accomplishment and I wish that every employer in the United States would do this for our workers,” Logan said.
Mendelsohn said Scoopers United will next focus on which rights it hopes to bargain for. Though she has been involved in the union push since its inception, Mendelsohn said that she would be leaving for graduate school. She said she would be working to “get the new generation of co-organizers up and running.”
Trey Cook, a field organizer from the Vermont State Labor Council, said the council is excited by Tuesday’s results.
“I think Vermonters know now that workers deserve more and we’re about to see a big wave of unionization, not just on Church Street but across the state,” Cook said.
At the April 28 press conference, an employee representative from neighboring Church Street business Black Cap Coffee announced that employees there were inspired by the scoop shop efforts and hope to form a union of their own.
Read the story on VTDigger here: Ben & Jerry’s Burlington scoop shop unionization effort moves forward.