Natural Grocers Workers in Norman Vote to Unionize

Natural Grocers workers in Norman, Oklahoma, have voted by a narrow margin to unionize, joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1000. Workers are seeking improvements in their work environment, adequate healthcare, protection for pregnant workers, safeguards against at-will employment and anti-union retaliation, accessible bereavement leave, and guaranteed annual raises.

In a statement to Supermarket News, Natural Grocers said, “Natural Grocers provides an environment that empowers [associates] through regular engagement, nutrition education training, and opportunities for advancement. Our compensation and benefits packages are world class. Our low turnover rates and commitment to promotion from within are a testament to a strong, positive workplace culture. We also foster a culture of open communication and mutual respect in our stores.”

Natural Grocers also highlighted its commitment to supporting pregnant workers. Over eight years, six women who became pregnant at the company reported needing accommodations for breaks to pump breast milk and requesting additional disability time through the proper paperwork. Natural Grocers stated it complies with Oklahoma law and offers generous leave and accommodation policies for pregnant and bereaved employees. “There were suggestions that Natural Grocers mistreats its workers, provides poor benefits, and/or fails to protect the rights of pregnant or bereaved crew members. These allegations couldn’t be further from the truth,” the grocer said. “We also have an open-door policy and encourage crew members to communicate any workplace concerns directly to our leadership, and address those concerns, and openly support collaboration with our crew members.” Natural Grocers, based in Lakewood, Colorado, operates 168 locations across the United States.