Workers at the Brattleboro Food Coop have voted to join the Local 1459 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.
The vote was 74 in favor of joining the union and 45 against, in elections held this week. The vote was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.
Charlie Lewis, a Coop employee, is one of the union organizers. He says the vote signals that a majority of staff want to see changes in employee -management relations.
"I think it will make more equal partners of the staff and management, so that we can work together more collaboratively on whatever we decide the issues are that need to be addressed. So I think we feel like it’s a step toward having more of a voice in the process of what happens at the coop,"Lewis said.
Lewis says the next step will be to gather input on the wishes and ideas of all employees, including those who did not want a union.
The new bargaining unit has a year to begin negotiating its first contract.