Jimmy John’s employees to vote on unionization

The National Relations Board will conduct the election Oct. 22.

Jennifer Bissell

Local Jimmy JohnâÄôs employees are taking one more step toward making their union official.

The National Labor Relations Board will be conducting a union election Oct. 22 for the employees of a Minneapolis Jimmy JohnâÄôs franchise. Some 200 employees are expected to vote.

If the majority votes in favor of unionization, the NLRB will require the franchise owners to bargain with the union over better work conditions and other demands.

Since early September, the union has been fighting for better work conditions, but the owners have refused to recognize the group as a representative voice for its employees. The demands of the Jimmy JohnâÄôs Workers Union include a pay raise, consistent scheduling, sick days, “no-nonsense” workersâÄô compensation for job-related injuries and “basic fairness on the job,” according to the union.

In addition to the election, the NLRB will be investigating the franchise for 14 alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act, said Industrial Workers of the World representative Erik Davis. Jimmy JohnâÄôs Workers Union is affiliated with the collective Industrial Workers of the World union.

Members of the Jimmy JohnâÄôs union said managers have used union-busting tactics such as distributing threatening letters, calling employees into irregular one-on-one meetings and making concessions to individual workers regarding wages and scheduling.

If found guilty, the franchise could be fined, forced to rehire fired employees or required to follow specific rulings on what managers can and cannot do in the future, Davis said.

If the franchise refuses to negotiate even after the election with the NLRB, the group will continue its organization tactics, Davis said.