Update: The Union was Recognized! Noble Knight Games employees Unionize.


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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Not necessarily.

Grocery store workers in the majority of the US are not unionized (they are in California I believe), but that doesn't necessarily reflect bad working conditions (at least in relation to the US). [Yes, I realize NK is NOT a grocer, this is an example of retail work in the US]

IT CAN reflect what their target employees are in some cases (younger individuals or those looking for additional income in some places, others have varying pay depending on the position with some positions specfically focused for some of those types of employees with the expectations those positions will not really buy the healthcare or other items).

Some of it may be part time work where the default is expected that one can schedule times to not work if they wish and don't have to go in as much so the company feels they don't need the days off like a full-time worker.

With that said, most grocery stores probably would also flat out refuse to recognize a union in the United States, especially if they feel that union is trying to demand things that are not useful to the business (for example, trying to force the above part time workers to be given 2 weeks vacation fully paid, getting a healthcare plan that is affordable for those part time workers to afford on part time pay, and paying filler positions high wages).
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You might be surprised. There are, apparently, something like 2.8 million grocery workers in the US. The UFCW represents about 800,000 of them. So there are quite a few grocery stores who have been recognizing unions. And while there may be quite a few workers in those positions (and other retail positions) part time, don't underestimate the number of people who work there full time. There should be no assumption that it's a side job. The time the employee spends there should be fairly compensated, full time or part, with appropriate benefits.

If unions have a black eye or low numbers in the US, it's mainly because of efforts to bust them and massive campaigns to undermine their value and the robustness of the economy is paying for it and will pay heavily for it in coming decades.
 




billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
boromir-cave-troll.gif
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Having your workforce get difficult in a business with razor-thin margins means you go bankrupt.
Grocery stores typically have profit margins of 1-3%. Organic & natural food groceries hit about 4-6% profit margins.

In comparison, game retailers have profit margins between 5-8% on average.
A Behind the Scenes Look at the Profit Margin of Your Local Game Store | Dice Tower News
 

GreyLord

Legend
You might be surprised. There are, apparently, something like 2.8 million grocery workers in the US. The UFCW represents about 800,000 of them. So there are quite a few grocery stores who have been recognizing unions. And while there may be quite a few workers in those positions (and other retail positions) part time, don't underestimate the number of people who work there full time. There should be no assumption that it's a side job. The time the employee spends there should be fairly compensated, full time or part, with appropriate benefits.

If unions have a black eye or low numbers in the US, it's mainly because of efforts to bust them and massive campaigns to undermine their value and the robustness of the economy is paying for it and will pay heavily for it in coming decades.

If I understand it right...

That's actually between the US and Canada. Canada has easier access to Unions and have 436,000 grocery workers in Canada.

Add in another 383,000 (almost 384,000 in California) and it's not hard to get to 800,000 between the two.

Most of the Grocery worker Unions are not found in most of the other states, though many of the UCFW union workers are NOT grocery workers (800K is the grocers, but you also have meat packers, and others. One example of a strike of other UCFW members would be Colorado for example which dealt with a marijuana, others with factories, warehouses and plants in Kentucky and elsewhere) and ARE found in many locations. They (the grocer arm) have limited representation in some more liberal areas of the US such as the North East.

Efforts to enforce or attain unionizations in many other areas of the US from grocers have failed. Some of it with dirty underhanded tactics where the Unions in theory would win, but due to filing bankruptcy and dissolution to reform anew killed the planned strikes.

Most of the attempts outside of California have met with similar oppositions among grocery stores to make it so the unions are either not recognized or minimized in their power and ability. At least from what I've seen in the US (which admittedly may not be the full picture).
 

When talking about the US and Unions, you also have to remember there is not a blanket federal law, like in other countries. Each state has it's own laws for Unions. So while a company like Kroger, and subsidiaries, are nationwide, and the Union is represented in all locations, support and enforcement vary by state.
 

MGibster

Legend
If the company is refusing to recognize the union, well, that's not a good sign.
This is fairly typical when the union didn't go through the National Labor Relations Board. Noble Knights can certainly recognize the union at this point, but most company's will require them to go through the NLRBs voting process before they'll recognize it.

When talking about the US and Unions, you also have to remember there is not a blanket federal law, like in other countries. Each state has it's own laws for Unions. So while a company like Kroger, and subsidiaries, are nationwide, and the Union is represented in all locations, support and enforcement vary by state.
That's partially true. While states may have their own employment laws regarding unions, the federal government also has laws that each state must obey. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and the Labor-Management Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959 are two such laws.
 


This is fairly typical when the union didn't go through the National Labor Relations Board. Noble Knights can certainly recognize the union at this point, but most company's will require them to go through the NLRBs voting process before they'll recognize it.

That's possible. Maybe it will just take a little more time. But the ICv2 article makes it sound like they have filed properly with the NLRB. And the association with the CWA lends further credence that their paperwork is in order. I am not an expert on how the legalities work, but even if you're right it still sounds like NKG is using a delay tactic rather than addressing worker's concerns.
 
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MGibster

Legend
That's possible. Maybe it will just take a little more time. But the ICv2 article makes it sound like they have filed properly with the NLRB. And the association with the CWA lends further credence that their paperwork is in order. I am not an expert on how the legalities work, but even if your right it still sounds like NKG is using a delay tactic rather than addressing worker's concerns.
It's likely that management wants the formal vote to fail and they might even take this opportunity to try to convince workers not to join the union. Some unethical managers take this time to fire union organizers for contrived reasons, I'm not arguing that's what Noble Knight's will do, but it's one of the reasons many people aren't happy about their decision not to recognize the union at this stage.
 

That's partially true. While states may have their own employment laws regarding unions, the federal government also has laws that each state must obey. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and the Labor-Management Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959 are two such laws.

I live in a state that is "Right to Work" and has "At Will" labor laws, so no notice or reason needed to fire someone, as long as those few federal laws are not violated, and can't be forced to join a Union to practice certain professions or trades. So employees in jobs that do have Union representation can either join it or tell them to F off and not have it affect their job.
 


MGibster

Legend
I live in a state that is "Right to Work" and has "At Will" labor laws, so no notice or reason needed to fire someone, as long as those few federal laws are not violated, and can't be forced to join a Union to practice certain professions or trades. So employees in jobs that do have Union representation can either join it or tell them to F off and not have it affect their job.
There are 28 right-to-work states and and most states have at-will employment. In a right-to-work state, employees cannot be compelled to join or pay dues to a union, but they still receive the benefits of any collective bargaining. i.e. Whatever employment deal the union negotiates for applies to non-union members as well. So the union bargaining does affect their jobs.
 


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