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The Unionization Attempt At No Evil Foods ‘Holds Lessons For Workers Across The U.S.’ - Employees At A Growing Vegan Food Company Have Insights Into ‘How To Overcome The Challenges’ Of Organizing In A Liberal Workplace

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2020
by Shane Burley/WagingNonViolence.org
The Unionization Attempt At No Evil Foods ‘Holds Lessons For Workers Across The U.S.’ - Employees At A Growing Vegan Food Company Have Insights Into ‘How To Overcome The Challenges’ Of Organizing In A Liberal Workplace

(WEAVERVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA) - Employees who try to Unionize their workplace can usually expect what is called a “Captive Audience” Meeting, where management gives their “perspective” on the Unionization Drive.

Because management can force Workers to attend these meetings, it is often an effective tool if the leadership of a workplace is looking to dispel interest in building a Union. 

Since a Union in the workplace leads to both higher wages and better benefits - as well as erodes management’s authority - few bosses remain neutral during a Union fight.

It is not uncommon to find them returning to tactics that Workers describe as intimidating or coercive.

This is even true in workplaces that espouse “Progressive” or Left-Wing principles, where rhetoric and politics mean little when money and power are on the line.

This is what several Employees allege happened when they tried to Unionize at No Evil Foods - a large vegan foods brand founded in 2014 and available at more than 5,500 retail locations, including Whole Foods.

No Evil Foods sought to appeal to Social Justice Activists by using names like El Zapatista or Comrade Chuck for their products, but were firm in their opposition to a Union.

Since they appeal to the tradition of the militant Workers’ movement and tout themselves as being a pro-Worker company, many people were surprised when audio surfaced in March of management using what Workers called intimidation tactics in their Captive Audience Meeting to undermine a Union Organizing Drive at their Weaverville, North Carolina Plant.

“I sincerely believe that right now a Union would be a terrible thing for you and for No Evil Foods,” said Mike Woliansky, the CEO of No Evil Foods.

He went on to say the Union would hurt the company and not give Workers a voice.

Woliansky gave the impression that Union Cards were scary legal documents that could lead to unintended ramifications for the Workers signing them.

He added that the Union in question - the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) - has a history of high paid executives, scandal and supporting slaughterhouses.

“You could get more than you currently have,” Woliansky said, seemingly trying to incite anxiety over the prospect of a Union. “You could get the same thing you currently have.  You could get less than you currently have.  I don’t think you need a Union voice here.”

The Organizing Employees at No Evil Food eventually lost their Union Election by a vote of 43-to-15 in February, but their story provides many lessons on the challenges of Unionizing in a Liberal workplace and how Workers can try to overcome them.

To Continue Reading This Labor News Story, Go To: https://wagingnonviolence.org/2020/07/the-unionization-attempt-at-no-evil-foods-holds-lessons-for-workers-across-the-country/

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