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Jimmy John's Workers Union wins a new lease on life

Arise, ye sandwich workers!
Arise, ye sandwich workers!

Workers at local Jimmy John's sandwich shops will get another crack at becoming the first fast-food-employees' union in the country.

The union drive at 10 Minneapolis shops appeared dead in the water after supporters lost an October election to ratify the union by two votes. But a new settlement released Monday afternoon by the National Labor Relations Board throws that election out and clears the way for a new one.

"It's pretty awesome," said Ayo Collins, who works delivery out of the Marquette Avenue location. "It's been a nonstop joyous thing since we first learned about it."

The new settlement comes after the National Labor Relations Board found evidence to support the union's charges that franchise owners Rob and Mike Mulligan broke the law with union-busting activities in the lead-up to the vote.

That revelation forced the Mulligans and the union organizers back to the negotiating table to agree on the settlement that was unveiled today.

Under the terms of the settlement, the owners don't admit to breaking the law, but they do make some major concessions, including agreeing to give up October's election victory.

The settlement also requires the Mulligans to distribute a notice to their employees, promising not to do many of the things it has been accused of doing, including disciplining and threatening union supporters and interrogating workers about their union sympathies.

Jimmy John's also agreed to expunge disciplinary records against nine employees associated with the union.

The last four months of protests and actions may pay off for Jimmy John's union supporters after all.
The last four months of protests and actions may pay off for Jimmy John's union supporters after all.

Union supporters now have another 18 months in which to call for a new election, but Collins says they'll only do that if they have to.

"At this point, I don't think either we or the company want to take it there, but we will if we have to," Collins said. "We're not looking to gloat -- this is just another opportunity for the Mulligans to come to the table and negotiate with us."

The union has given the Mulligans a list of ten demands, which include an across-the-board raise, health care coverage, paid sick days, and maternity leave.

The Mulligans did not respond to a request for comment by the time of this posting.

Here's a copy of the notice that will be read aloud to workers and posted in the Mulligans' Jimmy John's shops:

Jimmy John's Workers Union wins a new lease on life

Previous Jimmy John's Union Coverage


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