Friday, August 27, 2010


Giant Eagle is an American supermarket chain centred on the mid-Atlantic states. Presently this company is waging an anti-union campaign, and the following letter is one of their mendacious tactics. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) are the union attempting to organize in their stores, and the following story and appeal comes from them.
Tell Giant Eagle to Respect Worker Rights

Giant Eagle is sending intimidating and misleading letters to its non-union employees, trying to scare them away from talking to UFCW Local 23, the union nearly 7,000 of their coworkers are proud to belong to. Tell Giant Eagle to respect all its workers!

Take a look at the letter Giant Eagle workers have received at home:

Dear Team Member, (cough, cough...Molly )

It has come to our attention that you may be approached by Union organizers, employees of our competitors, and some of your current co-workers, to sign one of their union cards or a list/petition for the Union. We want to take the opportunity to inform you about this matter.

If anyone told you that if you refused to sign up for the Union now, you will not be able to work at our store, that is simply not the case and it makes your signature for the Union invalid.

Let's discuss the union card/list of names, addresses and email addresses. The union may tell you that these cards/lists really don't mean anything. Don't believe them.

First, no one has any legitimate reason to ask you for your address or email address, social security number, home phone number or other identifying information. ( Ohhhh, and how pray tell does the company get all this information for its employees. I guess that "no one" doesn't include the company...Molly )The NLRB only requires your name and the date you signed and nothing else. You must ask yourself why you are asked to give any more information.

The union can actually use your signed card or your name on a list to try to prove that they represent a majority of employees. The union can then demand that we turn over all of your individual rights to them without you having a chance to vote in a secret election. ( But turning over "individual rights" to the company as a condition of employment is OK I guess...Molly )

Signing a union authorization card, or a list for the Union, is a lot like signing a blank check because you don't know how much your signature will cost you. By signing a union card, or the Union's list, you may be committing yourself to initiation fees, monthly dues, fines, penalties, political action funds and other charges. Wouldn't you rather know and have control over where your money is going, and solve whatever problems we may have without outside interfrerence ? ( Who could be more "outside" than management, unless you believe the buddy,buddy 'team member psychoboo ?...Molly )When you sign one of those lists/cards, you really lose that control. How many of you would sign a blank check, endorsed to someone you didn't know ? ( Answer every worker who works for a period of time in the hopeful expectation that they will be paid at the end of that time and that the employer will not declare bankruptcy and skip out on their debts...Molly )

No one can force you to sign anything. If someone tries to threaten or coerce you into signing a union card or petition, or if they commit other illegal acts, please call the NLRB office in Pittsburgh at 412-395-4400.

If you have already signed one of these cards or lists and are having second thoughts about it, you have a right to demand that your card be returned to you or that your name be removed from the list.

It is important to understand that even if you signed a card or their list that you are not obligated to support the union. ( Uhh, but didn't management claim that once you signed the card that you had turned over all your "individual rights" ? It has to be one way or the other...Molly )

Please think about all these things before signing a "blank check" union card.

Sincerely yours,
Dave Daniel
Vice President, GetGo & GEX Operations

A final Molly Note... I'd suggest that the company hire somebody who knows a bit more about grammar and punctuation. Is "union" spelled with a capital U or a small U or whatever you type at the moment ? It would also lend a bit of credibility if the letter writer had a better grasp of the use of commas. But I'm being pedantic here.

Take action - tell Giant Eagle to stop this coercive and manipulative smear campaign.
Please go to this link to send the following letter to the management of Giant Eagle. Unfortunately this solidarity action seems to be restricted to US residents.

Giant Eagle: Respect all your workers!

Dear [Decision Maker],

I was deeply disappointed to learn that Giant Eagle has been sending intimidating and misleading letters to its non-union employees.

The entire Pittsburgh community relies upon the good jobs provided by local employers like you and I feel strongly that all Giant Eagle workers deserve the chance to have a voice on the job and the choice to join the union that already represents nearly 6,000 of their coworkers. Workers at non-union Giant Eagle stores have said they feel threatened by misleading and intimidating letters they received from the corporate office. These letters need to stop.

You should treat all of your workers with respect.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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