By MALLORY GRUBEN
Nearly 100 union supporters filled the New Seasons corporate headquarters at Revolution Hall Aug. 14 to deliver a letter. The letter demands that company leaders agree to the same more lenient attendance policy at its union-represented stores that it established in its nonunion stores.
The rally was the union’s first public demonstration combining all the union shops. About 70 attendees were New Seasons workers, including some employees from non-union stores who expressed interest in joining the union, said Maggie Myers, a union bargaining team member and employee at the Beaverton Cedar Hills store. A week after the rally, New Seasons told union bargaining team members it would discuss the attendance policy at their next bargaining session, after this issue went to press.
New Seasons Labor Union represents about 980 workers at eight News Seasons stores in Portland and Beaverton. In March, the company announced a more lenient attendance policy, but only for non-union stores. Union members have asked the company to apply that policy to its union shops, too, but so far the company has refused.
“In one of the last sessions, our lawyer asked them about it, and they were literally silent, and then they changed the subject,” Myers said. “That was a large impetus for the rally, because we don’t see that kind of behavior leading to a fair contract.”