Marsh workers seek union election at local store

July 12, 2010

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 700, which last month filed unfair labor practice charges against Marsh Supermarkets, is seeking a union election at a Marsh store in Beech Grove, the union announced Monday.

UFCW Local 700 said it petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for an election at the Marsh store at 1815 Albany St. in Beech Grove. A majority of the store’s workers have signaled their intention to join a union, Local 700 said.

In a press release, Local 700 said worker interest in union representation began to rise at  Indianapolis-based Marsh after Florida-based private equity group Sun Capital Partners acquired the grocery chain in 2006.

“Workers at Marsh stores across the region have grown increasingly concerned about their job security and other working conditions,” the union said in the statement.

Last month, the union accused Marsh of using illegal interrogation practices and unlawfully terminating a worker for exercising his right to organize a union. Local 700 filed those charges with the NLRB

The charges followed attempts by Marsh workers to deliver a petition to company headquarters signed by more than 5,000 people asking executives to meet with them about “the future direction of the company,” the union said.

The union alleged the coalition was met by security and ordered off the company’s property at 333 S. Franklin Road, on the east side of Indianapolis.

"We are asking for a union election because we know that our voices are stronger together," said April Stum, a 22-year Marsh employee who works at the Beech Grove store, in the prepared statement from the union. “Things have changed here since Marsh was bought by Sun Capital, and it's time workers stood together to defend our interests and our communities.”

A spokeswoman for Marsh did not immediately respond to a call and e-mail seeking comment on the latest charges.

Marsh operates about 100 stores in Indiana and Ohio.

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