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May 1, 20

Chicago, IL: IWW Grocery Store Workers in Logan Square Denounce Attacks During COVID-19 Pandemic

Report on members of the IWW Dill Pickle Organizing Committee mobilizing on May Day to alert customers to the inequity of their working conditions and the unjust termination of two co-workers.

Grocery stores employees are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyday, these essential workers are putting their lives at risk to ensure their communities continue to have access to the food they need to stay healthy and safe during this crisis. While workers have stepped up to meet this monumental task, many employers have not. Employees at Logan Square’s Dill Pickle Food Cooperative say their pay rate doesn’t measure up to the task at hand and that safe working conditions remain insufficient and have taken weeks to implement.

On top of the growing concerns with management’s response to COVID-19, the DPOC is calling for the reinstatement of two employees, one who was unjustly terminated for speaking out against the ongoing discrimination she was being subjected to by her supervisor.

The Dill Pickle’s mission states that it will offer healthy food choices and the benefits of cooperative practice to build a vibrant local community and more sustainable world. They meet community needs and strengthen area diversity through products, services and education. Yet, it is one thing to have a mission statement, another to work towards it. In order to strengthen diversity in the community, there must be a commitment to engage with food justice issues, including systemic discrimination and oppression in our society. Meaningful engagement entails ongoing discussion, training and education of staff, leadership and ownership on issues of racism and oppression.

Lastly, in recent communications with Dill Pickle member-owners, the Dill Pickle Board of Directors & Management have stated that they support workers’ right to unionize, insinuating that Dill Pickle workers are not yet represented by a union. However, The Dill Pickle Food Co-Op has been represented by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) since March 27th, 2017, when workers at the time voted for the IWW to represent them as their union. Despite recent actions, where a clear majority of workers have shown interest in union representation, management continues to ignore their requests to bargain and to recognize their NLRB union certification.

This handbill demonstration is an action intended to bring attention to the injustices Dill Pickle Food Cooperative staff is facing in order to place public pressure on upper management and the Dill Pickle’s Board of Directors, in hopes that they will work with the DPOC to resolve and meet their demands.

The DPOC is raising money to cover the cost of their recently terminated co-workers’ bills and basic needs. Contribute at https://www.gofundme.com/f/6qh8g-solidarity-donations

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