Whole Foods vs. Unions

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods

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In what’s being euphemistically dubbed the ‘third way’, the CEOs of Whole Foods, Costco, and Starbucks have joined together to lay out a ‘compromise‘ to the management/labor stand-off over the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). At issue is whether employees interested in forming a union would be allowed to choose their union formation process. Current law lets companies insist upon a secret-ballot election, even when employees would prefer a majority sign-up method.

I’m not going to restate the merits of labor’s position (you can read about it here and here) but surely we can agree that employees should be able to choose how they decide to form a union, right? Well, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey thinks it’s un-American.

Mackey said that binding arbitration is “not the way we
normally do things in the United States” and that allowing workers to
organize without a secret ballot “violates a bedrock principle of
American democracy.”

First, if Mackey thinks that binding arbitration isn’t the way we do things in the US, then perhaps he should try reading a copy of Mother Jones… after all, they’re sold at Whole Foods markets.

Second, Mackey’s tired canard has been debunked over and over. Even the Wall Street Journal editorial board, home of anti-labor commentary, finally admitted last week that the “the bill doesn’t remove the secret-ballot option.” Again, it merely allows employees to choose the union formation process.

So, why would “mission-driven” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey keep
repeating this worn out lie? I mean, I understand that he doesn’t like
unions, but he’s pissing off his good progressive customers who expect that the company’s motto—”Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”—actually means something. This customer is not satisfied.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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