First In Nation, Jimmy Johns Workers File for Union Election
Pressure Mounts on Franchise Owners in Unprecedented Fast Food Union Drive
MINNEAPOLIS– Sandwich workers at nine Minneapolis Jimmy John's locations made history this morning as they filed for the first-ever National Labor Relations Board union election at the national fast food chain. If a majority of workers vote in favor of unionization, franchise owner Mike Mulligan will be legally bound to negotiate with a bargaining team elected by his employees.
“Since we formed a union 11 days ago, Mike Mulligan has refused to even talk to us. We intend to keep the pressure on management to meet our demands. They may be able to stonewall us for now, but when we win this election, Jimmy Johns will have no choice but to negotiate,” said Mike Wilkow, a Jimmy Johns Workers Union member.
Since workers at nine Minneapolis Jimmy John's locations announced the formation of a union and demanded negotiations with franchise management on September 2nd, the chain has been bombarded with an escalating campaign of actions in 32 states intended to bring management to the bargaining table. The Jimmy Johns Workers Union's demands include sick days, a no-nonsense worker's compensation policy, fair scheduling, livable wages, an end to sexual harassment, and other measures of basic fairness at work.
Franchise owner Mike Mulligan and general manager Rob Mulligan have ignored the union's repeated requests for negotiations. Union members say managers have begun using typical union-busting tactics, such as distributing threatening letters, calling employees into irregular one-on-one meetings, and making concessions to individual workers on demands around wages and hours.
The Jimmy Johns Workers Union, open to employees at the company nationwide, is the first fast food union in the nation, and is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World labor union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all working people.