AP

Philadelphia Home Depot workers vote to reject unionization

Nov 5, 2022, 12:45 PM | Updated: Nov 6, 2022, 2:59 pm

FILE - Shopping carts are parked outside a Home Depot in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (...

FILE - Shopping carts are parked outside a Home Depot in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Home Depot workers in Philadelphia rejected the first store-wide labor union at the world’s largest home improvement retailer Saturday night, a loss for a fledgling movement to organize at major U.S. companies.

Workers voted 165 to 51 against forming Home Depot Workers United, which would have represented 274 employees at the store, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the voting. The company and union organizations have five days to file objections.

The defeat for the organizers could discourage activist workers who have successfully formed the first unions at big chains, including Amazon, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Apple, but have since suffered setbacks in getting collective bargaining off the ground or organizing more unions.

The Atlanta-based company employs about 500,000 people at its 2,316 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Vincent Quiles, the Home Depot employee leading the unionization effort, told WHYY-FM that the attempt to organize workers had been a “tall order.”

“It wouldn’t be an easy fight to have,” Quiles said. “But you do these things because you believe them to be right.”

Quiles previously said discontent with compensation, working conditions, understaffing and lack of training are among the grievances that spurred the effort to organize.

After the failed union vote, Home Depot spokesperson Margaret Smith told WHYY, “We’re happy that the associates at this store voted to continue working directly with the company. That connection is important to our culture, and we will continue listening to our associates and making The Home Depot a great place to work and grow.”

Quiles has filed a complaint of unfair labor practices with the NRLB, alleging managers engaged in inappropriate surveillance and interrogation tactics against union supporters. Quiles has said managers followed him around the stores and tried to disrupt any conversations he tried to have with co-workers, even if it wasn’t about the union.

Instead, Quiles said he relied on TikTok videos, group text messaging and e-mailing to campaign for the union.

Home Depot has denied the complaint’s allegations.

Fierce legal fights have characterized organization efforts at other companies.

Amazon has filed more than two dozen objections in an attempt to undo the Amazon Labor Union’s surprise election victory at a Staten Island warehouse last spring, the group’s only successful attempt so far to form a union. The ALU, meanwhile, has filed more than two dozen charges with the NLRB accusing Amazon of unfair labor practices.

Starbucks is negotiating contracts at a handful of the more than 250 stores where workers have voted to unionize, but the company has asked the NLRB to temporarily halt other elections because of alleged misconduct.

The labor relations board has filed a complaint against Chipotle alleging the restaurant chain unlawfully closed a store in Augusta, Maine, and fired its workers for union activity.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: A Boeing 737 Max 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Ren...

Associated Press

Boeing says it’s in talks to buy Spirit AeroSystems, key supplier on troubled 737 Max

Boeing said Friday that it is in preliminary talks to buy Spirit AeroSystems, which builds fuselages for Boeing 737 Max jetliners.

4 hours ago

Image: McKenna Shuster works on a linocut art print which she does as a hobby in her home on the la...

Mike Stobbs, The Associated Press

U.S. health officials drop 5-day isolation time for COVID-19

Americans who test positive for COVID-19 no longer need to stay in isolation for five days, U.S. health officials announced Friday.

10 hours ago

Image: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote...

Associated Press

Supreme Court agrees to decide if Trump can be prosecuted for election interference

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the former president can be prosecuted on charges he interfered with the 2020 election.

2 days ago

mcconnell...

Michael Tackett, The Associated Press

McConnell will step down as the Senate Republican leader in November

McConnell said he plans to serve out his Senate term, which ends in January 2027, “albeit from a different seat in the chamber.”

2 days ago

Image: This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, on Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidenti...

Associated Press

Trump, Biden won Michigan: but ‘uncommitted’ votes stick out

Early results from Michigan highlighted some of the two candidates' biggest political vulnerabilities ahead of the November general election.

3 days ago

An entrance to a Macy's store in the mall. (File photo: Ted Shaffrey, AP)...

Associated Press

Macy’s to close 150 stores as sales slip, pivot to luxury with Bloomingdale’s locations

Macy’s will close 150 unproductive namesake stores over the next three years including 50 by year-end, the department store operator said Tuesday.

3 days ago

Philadelphia Home Depot workers vote to reject unionization