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Union wins vote at Lexington Food Co-op

Workers United has won a vote to represent workers at Lexington Co-op Markets at their Elmwood and Hertel avenue stores.

The final result was 56 in favor of representing the employees, and 20 against, according to a statement form the National Labor Relations Board Buffalo office, which supervised the election.

In a statement, the co-op said its leaders will meet soon with representatives of Lexington Co-Op Workers United to discuss next steps, and to set up timelines for the collective bargaining process.

The NLRB earlier had ruled the elections would be held, despite hearings to determine what specific classes of employees would be eligible to vote. The vote will stand, as the margin of victory is greater than the number of disputed ballots. Of the 92 workers in the proposed bargaining unit, eligibility of 19 of them were disputed by the co-op management before the vote was held.

"Our landslide 56-20 union victory wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Co-op's foundational building block - the community. Together we'll all move forward into a brighter future for us all!," the union said on Twitter.

When Workers United announced their organizing drive in early November, they released a statement on Twitter saying that while workers are not represented on issues of compensation, duties or safety, that "the matter of our forming a union is not a matter of solving a single issue," but that recognition should be a byproduct of any co-operative ownership structure.

"Because we have invested so much time, hard work, and care in the Co-op, we deserve an equal say in the deciding the path to be taken by our community-owned stores," the statement read.

The initial letter from the union had asked for automatic recognition without an NLRB supervised election. Co-op management rejected that saying in a statement that such a move would deny all the workforce a vote.

READ THE NLRB RULING:

Lexington Co-op Decision and Direction of Election by WBFO on Scribd

Dave Debo's journalism career runs the gamut from public radio to commercial radio, from digital projects to newspapers. With over 30 years of experience, he's produced national television news programs and has worked as both a daily and weekly print journalist and web editor.
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