Jimmy John’s Sandwich Workers to Continue to Press for Improved Working Conditions

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MINNEAPOLIS—THE JIMMY JOHN’S WORKERS UNION has
filed a 12-page Objection to the October 22 National
Labor Review Board (NLRB) election at 10 Minneapolis
sandwich shops, outlining a pattern of pervasive and systemic
labor rights violations that prevented the possibility
of a free and fair vote. The union election, a first in fast
food in the US, was as close as they come, with 85 votes in
favor of the union, 87 against, and 2 challenged ballots.
“Franchise owner Mike Mulligan decided to go beyond the
pale. His managers asked workers to wear anti-union pins,
fired pro-union workers, threatened a mass firing,
implemented an illegal wage freeze, tightened policies and
retaliated against union members, […] and pressured
workers to vote no. He broke the law repeatedly in order
to win, and he just barely won. That’s not right. We are
calling on the NLRB to set aside the results of this
election,” said worker and union member Emily
Przybylski Przybylsiy.
In response to his employee’s union campaign, franchise
owner Mike Mulligan hired a third-party anti-union consulting
firm, Labor Relations Inc., to prevent employees
from winning an NLRB Union election. According to documents
obtained from the Department of Labor, Mulligan
spent over $84,500 on an anti-union campaign intended to
prevent workers from unionizing.
Tim Louris, of Minneapolis labor firm Miller O’Brien
Cummins, is assisting the union pro-bono in navigating
the tricky waters of labor law. Union spokespeople say the
written objection to the election results will be available to
the public within a few days.
While filing with the NLRB to have the election results
nullified, the workers also plan to mount a campaign to
win their demands without union recognition.
“85 yes votes, in spite of 6 weeks of vicious union-busting,
is a mandate for change. There are a thousand ways
we can put pressure on Jimmy John’s to win our demands
for fair wages, sick days, consistent hours, and respect.
We’re fired up, this fight is just beginning,” said Ayo
Collins, another worker and union member.
The Jimmy John’s Workers Union, open to employees
at the company nationwide, is the first fast food union in
the nation, and is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of
the World labor union. Gaining prominence in recent
years for organizing Starbucks workers (www.starbucksunion.
org/), the IWW is a global union founded over a
century ago for all working people.
For more information: Jimmy John’s Workers Union
(Industrial Workers of the World; www.iww.org, or
www.jimmyjohnsworkers.org) Contact: Emily Pzybylski,
414-477-9803.

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