A Resounding Majority of Union Kitchen Employees Filed Petition Seeking Removal of UFCW Union

On July 14, 2023, workers at five Union Kitchen Grocery locations in the Washington, DC, metro area filed a petition looking to end United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400’s monopoly bargaining power over employees. The workers submitted their decertification petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 5. In this process, they received free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Union Kitchen employee Ashley Silva submitted a union decertification petition that her co-workers overwhelmingly supported. Under NLRB rules, this petition should kick off an NLRB-led decertification vote. Under federal labor law, employers are not allowed to take part in monopoly bargaining that impacts the employment terms of all workers, even of the workers opposed to unionization, with a minority union that does not enjoy the support of a slight majority of workers. 

With the petition currently filed, the NLRB is expected to quickly schedule a secret ballot election so the workers can formally vote to terminate union officials’ power to impose a contract, which includes forced dues, on the employees.

Due to how the District of Columbia does not have Right to Work protections for its private sector employees, UFCW union officials have the ability to enter into an agreement with Union Kitchen compelling Silva and her fellow employees at the four DC locations to pay union dues or fees as a condition of maintaining employment. By contrast, in Right to Work jurisdictions such as those at Union Kitchen’s Northern Virginia location, union membership and financial dudes are carried out on a voluntary basis. 

“Disrupting a work environment with continuous pickets and boycotts is not what Union Kitchen Grocery employees want or need. The employees’ overwhelming support for a union decertification vote should send a strong message to UFCW union officials that they need to leave,” declared National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Foundation attorneys will defend these employees in the exercise of their rights, and will oppose any attempts by UFCW officials to disenfranchise the Union Kitchen workers of their legal right to remove a union they so clearly want nothing to do with.”

The battle to restore order in America will not be easy. It involves confronting leftist interest groups such as labor unions head on. This means getting non-union workers to revolt against union bosses while conservative activists pressure legislators to pass legislation that greatly weakens unions. This is the only way to keep these entities in check while maintaining the Republican Party’s competitive position in many states nationwide.

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