Given the seriousness with which the co-op takes matters of equity and justice in all things, it surprised many members to learn that an effort on the part of some paid workers to unionize had not been going smoothly. Owned and operated by its members since it was founded in 1973, the co-op permits only those who work a certain number of hours per month (behind the cash register, unloading delivery trucks, stocking oranges and so on) to shop there. It also employs about 75 people, all but 11 or so of whom receive an hourly wage.
How was it possible that these workers in an institution so famously aligned with a collectivist left were not already unionized? It was like imagining the Catholic Church without baptism. As one stunned member pointed out in his letter to The Gazette, the co-op is “literally on Union Street.”
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