Fast food workers at a New Jersey Subway restaurant managed to overcome anti-union pressure and join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The restaurant is owned by the Pilot Flying J, a travel center company run by the brother of anti-union Gov. Bill Haslam.
The 13 employees voted Friday to join the RWDSU, favoring unionizing in an 8 to 5 victory. Though the employees were successful, the Pilot Flying J did try to “encourage” them from organizing.
“I am very relieved the election is over and very proud of my co-workers for hanging tough during the past three months of the campaign. The company threw many roadblocks in front of us and hired an anti-union professional to scare us to vote ‘no,’ but we overcame this and were victorious.”
The company’s tactics apparently included playing a “game” where they were asked to guess the value of a bag of groceries. The workers were then told that the groceries were worth the same value as the union dues they would have to pay.
Although it is only a single store in the Subway family, unionization of fast food workers is rare and the employees should be commended for their resilience. Employees seeking to unionize face a great deal of pressure from their employers, and may risk losing their jobs. Earlier this month when a New York book store joined the RWDSU, the owner immediately fired two employees in retribution.