Homegrown workers go on strike for a decent contract
Seattle, WA – Homegrown workers at multiple retail locations in the Seattle area will go on strike Thursday morning, September 14, after many bargaining sessions have failed to produce a contract with affordable healthcare insurance and union security.
On Thursday at 10 a.m., the Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, University Village, Redmond, Mercer Island, and Southcenter Homegrown locations will picket, followed by a large joint picket at 2 p.m. at Mercer Island. Homegrown workers have made good progress with company towards a decent contract, but the company’s latest proposal still leaves healthcare insurance unaffordable for many workers.
Homegrown worker Millie Saucedo said, “I need affordable healthcare for my two kids and my husband, who has heart issues. Right now, I’m uninsured because the cost is too expensive. There’s no way I can afford $800 per month on my pay.”
About a year ago, workers at Homegrown and Catapult NW, Homegrown Group’s wholesale distribution arm, went on strike over workplace issues including heat, smoke, gender pay disparity, COVID sick-day policy, and installation of worker surveillance cameras.
Workers in Homegrown’s cafes and wholesale distribution company Catapult NW filed for union elections with the NLRB in October 2022 after their strikes, company-wide delegations, picketing, and leafleting of customers and clients.
Workers in Homegrown retail cafes are eager to settle a decent contract that will have the wages and benefits to make their jobs and lives in the Seattle area sustainable.
Homegrown catering driver Russell Concha said, “I’ve worked at Homegrown for eight years. Right now, I work two jobs in order to make ends meet. I start work at Homegrown at 4 a.m. and I get off my second job at 11 p.m. I’m fighting for a raise so that I can only work one job, and get to spend more time with my kids and family.”
Queen Anne Homegrown worker Emily highlighted the need for the contract to stay in effect if the company is sold, saying, “I've worked at Homegrown for five years. I'm fighting for a contract that will allow me to stay in the company long term, and I need to know that I can keep this job if the company is sold.”