A Safe Place For Berkeley Bowl Workers to Organize

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve been a Berkeley resident and Berkeley Bowl shopper for nearly 25 years. I’ve always found it ironic that Berkeley Bowl employees have never been able to form a union in the most liberal city in the USA. Then, I read an article at Berkeleyside about how Berkeley Bowl employees are going to get a new chance to vote for a union. A few weeks earlier, I read an analysis of how the workers at the Newburgh Can Plant created a blog where they could discuss their own union election anonymously, liberating them from repercussions from management.

Finally, I read the following in a letter from the National Labor Relations Board:

“The election conducted on June 23, 2010 was set aside by mutual agreement of the parties based upon alleged objectionable conduct of the employer that interfered with exercise of a free and reasonable choice”

This was the last straw. I have decided it is is time to act. Berkeley Bowl employees are the hardest working, most dedicated, and service-oriented workers I know, and it’s time I pay it back.

This blog is a gift to the Berkeley Bowl employees who deserve a union. This is a place where you can educate each other about the union and organize anonymously. My hope is that this anonymity can provide a safe place for Berkeley Bowl employees to express their views and ask questions with fear of reprisals by management. Think of it like a 24/7 campaign meeting. Please read this article for more background.

Please feel free to post anonymously. You can send me anything to publish, and I promise to protect your anonymity.

I’m doing this because I believe a Berkeley Bowl employee union would be better for all parties: management, employees, and shoppers.

And whoever recommended that greek yogurt to use as starter for homemade yogurt about a month ago: thanks! It worked awesome.

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Comments
  1. This is not a forum for the community to debate the merits of a Berkeley Bowl union, or the general nature of unions. It is a forum for workers to organize.

  2. Berkeley Bowl worker says:

    John,

    Hello! A long time Berkeley Bowl Employee here.

    Thank you so much for creating this website, it is a good idea, and a much needed tool for my co-workers, who are indeed very scared at what is going on in our store. It is reassuring to know that there is people out there that understand the kind of things that are going on here, a lot of intimidation on managements part, and a lot of capricious behavior as well directed publicly.

    It is true that there is a small crew of dissenters as far as the union is concerned, that is only natural amongst nearly 200 people, what is not natural is the way their opinions are bolstered up, while the opinions of union supporters are silenced. In order to restore the unilateral change the company made to our insurance, which employees have had to suffer out of pocket expenses as a result, it would only cost the company around $10,000, BUT, they would rather hire Bob Tiernan, whose fees I would imagine were much more significant, in order to not even negotiate with us. It is truly, very very sad.

    They just won’t let us exercise out choice freely, and I think the whole world can see it!

    I am going to inform my coworkers of your website, and hopefully there will be more content soon.

    Again, thank you for creating this forum!

    -A concerned employee

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