Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mrs. Green's Polls West Village on How Tolerable They'd be Through a Labor Battle

Naturally unfair to workers. That’s been the tagline for Mrs. Green’s Natural Market since being found guilty of violating their workers rights and illegally firing eight of them for wanting to join a union. The federal charges, terrible press and community outrage hasn’t taught Mrs. Green’s a lesson apparently; numerous residents have notified us that the company’s newest store in New York City has been polling the community on their view of unions, and workers.

The New York Post reported on the odd surveying earlier this month: Just a few weeks after opening a new outpost in the West Village, the upscale, organic grocer has managed to put off its left-leaning customer base while giving union organizers added ammunition. The grocer, in an apparent effort to gauge residents’ attitudes toward unions, asked whether it was “important” to shop at stores that employ union members, said a resident who participated in a phone survey Mrs. Green’s conducted a month ago. - http://nypost.com/2015/11/08/labor-pains-for-nycs-new-mrs-greens-store/

Residents have also complained about Mrs. Green's garbage on sidewalks
West Village residents saw right through the survey and became aggravated enough to mention it to our Organizing team while walking by the picket line at the store. Among many complaints, a tipster sent our organizers this note: " I just took a long and exhaustive phone survey that was clearly paid for by Mrs. Greens and wanted to gauge their customer’s views on unions and how important a unionized workforce is. I let them know that if I was given a choice, I would always chose a unionized shop. There was a section that tried to do a bit of "push pulling" where they had me respond to every phony argument that management gives for not supporting unions. eg. "employees should be able to speak directly to management" or "union dues will lower employee's take home pay" I said that I disagreed strongly with all the excuses. I thought that you'd like to know."

With 18 stores, mostly in the tri-state area, and aspirations to open more, Mrs. Green’s has been feeling the pressure from our union, enough so to pay for a community poll on opinions of unions.

The real question is, why would a company found guilty of firing workers because they wanted a union, ask a community what they think about unions? For more information and to get involved in the campaign to bring equality and rights to the men and women working at Mrs. Green's, visit mrsgreeds.com.

Mrs. Green’s to Suddenly Close Hartsdale Store 


Mrs. Green’s Natural Market announced it would be closing its 20,000 square-foot Hartsdale store on Central Avenue on November 12, 2015. The store opened its doors there only two years ago, on November 22, 2013 According to the Edgemont Community Council, Mrs. Green’s sent an announcement of its Hartsdale store closing this morning to all customers on its email list.

 The announcement stated that it will work “very hard” to find new jobs for its employees and would “continue to service the customers of central Westchester County in many of our other locations like Rye, Tarrytown and Eastchester.” No reason was given for the store’s abrupt closing, but there have been reports of legal troubles stemming from its bills not being paid and customers who shop at Mrs. Green’s in Hartsdale have reported seeing very few people there. Best Yet purchased the lease and re-opened the store a week after its closure.

Read the full story here.

“We immediately began receiving calls from Hartsdale workers who were in a frantic,” said Director of Organizing Aly Waddy, “These hard working men and women had no one to turn to. The company gave them no answers, and they got no information and a short notice they would be losing their job,” Waddy explained. Waddy also indicated that the workers said they rumor was they would receive “some type of severance package” but no specifics were available. A former worker of the Hartsdale store who wished to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation explained the process:
 I was an employee for Mrs. Green’s in Hartsdale when they decided to close it. Most employees found out that the store was closing through an email that was sent out to the customers that everything was 50% off. The HR woman was very aggressive and I mentioned it to her, she doesn't seem like she cares, all she really cared for is that we sign severance papers. I don't know what to do for my coworkers they offered me a position after they told them there are no open positions they screwed us over and the severance package contains a lot of "fishy" stuff…a lot of clauses” 
“The workers throughout the entire chain saw us fight back against the company’s irresponsible practices and work alongside community members in Mount Kisco to get eight illegally fired workers re-hired. They trust that we’re there for them, more than their irresponsible employer. Some workers from the Hartsdale are being transferred to the Mount Kisco location. There is still confusion on how that is being done, it doesn’t seem to be organized, seems almost it’s a favoritism system. Workers with good records and seniority are still being displaced. We are investigating to see if Union supporters were selectively displaced,” Waddy explained.

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