Trader Joe's Minneapolis store became only the second in the national chain to unionize Friday.
Workers of the downtown store on the corner of Washington and Chicago Avenues voted 55 to 5 in favor of forming a union, the National Labor Relations Board announced Friday afternoon.
The Minneapolis store is only the second in the 530-grocery store chain to join the newly formed and independent "Trader Joe's United." The Hadley, Mass., store voted last month.
Minneapolis employees said they struggled for months with safety issues surrounding back and wrist injuries, sexual harassment, storage practices and problems with unruly customers. They said requests to corporate management for additional safety training went unheeded.
The workers also cited wage disparities and cuts in retirement benefits.
Nakia Rohde, a spokeswoman for the California-based Trader Joe's, acknowledged Friday's union vote in an e-mail.
"While we are concerned about how this new rigid legal relationship will impact Trader Joe's culture, we are prepared to immediately begin discussions with their collective bargaining representative to negotiate a contract," she said.
She added that Trader Joe's offers employees "an industry-leading package of pay, benefits, and flexible working conditions" and is "committed to responding quickly when circumstances change to ensure we are doing the right thing to support our crew."
She noted that Trader Joe's offered "thank you" pay for 15 months during the COVID-19 pandemic and recently adjusted pay twice.