HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Trader Joe’s United, an independent union of trader joe workers, entered contract negotiations with Trader Joe’s this week.

This marks the first bargaining session for the union, taking place at Smith College. At the table, there were members of trader joe’s united from two unionized stores, one right here in Hadley, the other from Minneapolis. Trader Joe’s in Hadley voted 45 to 31 to unionize on July 28th of this year, citing cuts in benefits and unsafe conditions during the pandemic.

Michael Alcorn, a Trader Joes crew member said, “We just wanted to get together and talk about it, so we could better understand where everybody was coming from, but they weren’t open to doing that because they knew that a lot of us wouldn’t be on board because they wanted that union no matter what. It’s been pretty divisive ever since and a lot of us are still left out of what’s going on. They tell us we can join, and some of us are on their email lists, but they have not sent many emails out at all, we don’t know what’s going on”

Alcorn said his experience working at Trader Joe’s has been a positive one. 22News has reached out to Trader Joe’s United for comment and has not heard back.