Imperfect Foods workers join UFCW

By COLIN STAUB

A group of 31 delivery drivers at produce delivery business Imperfect Foods has formed a union. During a Nov. 3 in-person election at their workplace at 16800 SE Evelyn Street in Clackamas, workers voted 15-13 to affiliate with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555. The bargaining unit includes all delivery drivers and delivery lead workers at the Clackamas location.

Imperfect Foods sources groceries that might otherwise go to waste and delivers them to customers through a subscription service. The “imperfect” groceries can include near-expiration food, strange-looking produce that customers probably wouldn’t choose at the store, or surplus goods. Imperfect Foods aggregates these products at warehouses, like the one in Clackamas, and workers deliver groceries weekly to households.

The company has locations throughout the country, largely concentrated on the coasts, in the Midwest and in the South.

In a statement shared by UFCW Local 555, delivery driver Moira McCarthy said workers want a contract that provides a fair wage scale with guaranteed raises, assigns workers delivery routes evenly, and addresses safety issues.

A year ago, workers at the same location launched a union drive with Teamsters Local 162. The company argued to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that the union campaign should include other locations in the Northwest region. Not wanting to delay the campaign, Local 162 accepted that proposal, which meant quickly working to organize a far larger group of workers: 103, rather than the initial group of 50. In the meantime, the company brought in a Los Angeles-based union buster and held mandatory anti-union meetings. In the end, workers narrowly rejected the union by a vote of 44-42.

This time around, the company didn’t argue for a larger bargaining unit, NLRB records show.

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