PCC’s Response to the UFCW Local 21 Flyer
November 17, 2020
PCC Community Markets (PCC) has a long history of stable and amicable labor relations with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW 21). For almost 40 years, PCC has cooperated with Local 21 to ensure PCC’s unionized staff are properly represented.
While Local 21 has recently handed out flyers that claim PCC is trying to block the process of nominating staff to the PCC Board of Trustees, this is not true. Rather, PCC has cooperated and responded to Local 21’s efforts to assist unionized staff in their desire as PCC members to seek nomination. PCC has explained that the nomination process is the same for all PCC members, whether they are staff or members of the public. Local 21 wants different treatment and cries, “Foul!”
Local 21’s claim: PCC has obstructed access to election information.
PCC’s answer: This is not true. PCC offered Local 21 access to the same information other members seeking nomination are entitled to. But Local 21 wanted more — it demanded an electronic file of the confidential information, including names, phone numbers and emails, of every Active member of PCC. This is the personal information of our members, and we have an obligation to protect it, so we refused.
Local 21’s claim: PCC “refused to allow” workers to collect signatures electronically.
PCC’s answer: This is not true. PCC’s Bylaws do not allow for the electronic collection of signatures.
Local 21’s claim: PCC banned union signature gatherers outside PCC stores.
PCC’s answer: This is not true. PCC’s long-standing policy does not allow third-party signature gathering on PCC-controlled property. But Local 21 wants to be treated differently. PCC has explained to Local 21 representatives that they may collect signatures outside PCC stores so long as they are not on PCC-controlled property, and Local 21 is currently gathering signatures. But the more critical concern is that PCC provides essential food and products to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Signature gathering of any type exposes our customers to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. PCC will continue to insist that any signature gatherers follow appropriate COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing masks, gloves and social distancing, to ensure that signature collection does not pose a threat of COVID-19 infection to our members and staff.
One group of members does not have special advantage over others in the Board of Trustees nomination process. PCC offers staff the same opportunity that every non-staff member of PCC has to seek nomination to the Board of Trustees. PCC cannot tip the scales in favor of one group over another through special rules or treatment. The union doesn’t like that.
We hope this clarifies PCC’s actions and the co-op’s response to union requests. We hope all staff and every shopper understand that PCC’s primary goal is to offer the best organic products, exceptional service and safe shopping conditions in this trying time.