Workers at MOM’s Organic Market in Baltimore Want a Voice at Work
Aug. 17, 2022 | More than 75 workers employed at MOM's Organic Market in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood recently filed for an election to create the company's first union. They have gained the strong support of Baltimore City's District 14 Councilwoman Odette Ramos after sharing their story and asking for her help.
"I'm happy to support these workers' campaign for fair wages and better working conditions because they are the people feeding us. We should all support them," said Councilwoman Ramos. "I'm very proud of them for making this effort happen. It's a big step, and I support them 100%."
"We greatly appreciate having the solid support of Councilwoman Odette Ramos," said organizer Matthew who works in Coffee Roast.
"The only way we can empower ourselves at work and take charge of our working conditions is representation with Teamsters Local 570 in Baltimore. As Teamsters, we'll finally have a voice in the workplace," said Natalya, a MOMs Organic generalist and organizing committee member.
The market's essential workers began their organizing campaign earlier this year when issues of wage and safety concerns fell on management's deaf ears. In addition to higher start rates and raises, they seek paid time off, a fair sick leave policy and ADA accommodations, increased staffing and training, better safety measures in their workspace, and holiday pay.
"We are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we are not allowed to have both days off. We are people too. We want to be treated like we matter," said Eleanor, a ten-year employee and committee member.
"I've had a lot of experience being taken advantage of in the workplace," said Matthew, who has worked in customer service since the age of 15 and whose family worked in the restaurant business. "When I got the job at MOMs, I knew it presented itself as pro-worker, so I assumed it would be different – a more supportive place. I quickly found out that wasn't the case, but rather more of a huge representation of lifestyle politics that had nothing to do with what it takes to take care of people." "Since our campaign went public, what is happening on site is quite shameful. CEO Scott Nash has said publicly he 'supports workers' but unions 'suck.' He has brought in union-busters to intimidate us and spread misinformation; it's really painful. We are trying to exert our federal rights under the law, and he is trying to break up our efforts rather than listen to our concerns."
A secret ballot election vote conducted by the National Labor Relations Board will be held on Friday, August 26, 2022.
Related: Workers at Moms Organic Market in Hampden, Md., move to form a union
YES! MOM’s Workers Join Teamsters Local 570, First in Maryland
Aug. 28, 2022 | Concluding their months-long union organizing campaign, more than 75 workers employed at MOM's Organic Market in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood voted overwhelmingly on Friday, August 26, for representation by Teamsters Local 570.
The workers, full and part-time generalists, coffee roast, grocery, wellness, produce, naked lunch, and cashiers, launched their campaign to organize for fair wages and better working conditions earlier this summer when they reached out to Local 570. Among their issues are higher starting pay, regular raises, paid time off, holiday pay, job security, and dignity and respect on the job.
Sean Cedenio, Local 570 Secretary-Treasurer, said in a statement that the Teamsters “are committed to gaining the necessary items that these essential workers need for the services they supply.”
“For the first time, these workers will have a voice on the job,” said Moe Jackson, Local 570 Vice President, after the election.
“It was truly an honor to do this with my coworkers. I’m so glad that we get to secure a dignified workplace for now and future MOM’s workers,” said Kelsey Oppenheimer, a generalist and organizing committee member.
Media coverage: WBALTV video; The Baltimore Banner; Fox45News; Baltimore Sun