In double victories today, workers at both MOM’s Organic Market in College Park, Md. and the La Colombe Coffee Roasters Chinatown location in Washington, DC voted to unionize with UFCW Local 400.
The workers of MOM’s Organic Market College Park said they’re “proud to have formed our union today and are looking forward to the next steps in building our union,” while the La Colombe workers said “Our union has existed through the solidarity, friendship, and camaraderie we have shared with each other at work for many months. Today, we have won legal and formal recognition of the reality we have known to be true on the shop floor. We hope management accepts the result of our election, and meets with us to begin bargaining a contract.”
The College Park store is the third MOM’s Organic Market to unionize. In August, workers at a Baltimore store in Hampden voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing with the Teamsters, and in October, workers at the MOM’s Organic Market in Timonium voted to unionize as well. The Chinatown La Colombe is the first La Colombe cafe in the country to successfully unionize.
Local 400 noted that “union organizing efforts are sweeping through the DMV region, where in the last few months workers at Books-A-Million, Union Kitchen, Politics and Prose, and Zen Leaf dispensary have all unionized, announced plans to unionize, or ratified their first union contracts.” The wave of unionizing workplaces is not limited to the DMV region. According to the NLRB, union elections filings in the first half of fiscal year 2022 are up 57% from the year before and approval of labor unions is at its highest point since 1965 according to a recent Gallup poll.
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Frank Silberstein has been a mathematical statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau for 25 years. As chair of the National Fair Practices Affirmative Action Coordinators Subcommittee and a member of the EEO and Representation Subcommittee, Silberstein works to make sure the members in District 14 are properly informed of their EEO rights via regular trainings and consultation. He loves it when he can make a difference and help people get the justice and fairness they deserve and not just rolled over by government managers. “The government has an obligation to serve the public and I have always been proud to do that,” says Silberstein, who is also chief shop steward and fair practices coordinator for AFGE Local 2782.
From AFGE’s Meet the People Who Keep Our Federal and D.C. Governments Running.