Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Jimmy John’s workers in Minneapolis unionize


jimmyjohnsHere’s a Labor Day story for you: Newly unionized workers at nine Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in Minneapolis took to the streets over the weekend to protest minimum-wage pay, inconsistent daily schedules (some as short as one hour), and a lack of sick days.

“We formed a union to fight for change, starting at Jimmy John’s today, and throughout the entire fast food industry tomorrow,” David Boehnke, a union member said.

Only a handful of fast-food workers are unionized in the United States. They are highly likely to earn minimum wage and to be employed on a part-time basis, which makes them ineligible for benefits like health insurance and paid vacations. (Full-time workers who earn the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would make $15,080 a year — just above the federal poverty line of $14,570 a year for a family of two.)

The newly minted Jimmy John’s union members are part of the Industrial Workers of the World, which has grabbed headlines for its efforts to unionize Starbucks workers.