In what could be the first store-wide union at the home improvement giant, 274 employees filed a petition with the NLRB.
Home Depot workers in Philadelphia have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to form a store-wide union at the world’s largest home improvement retailer.
The petition seeks to form a collective bargaining unit for 274 employees working in merchandising, specialty, and operations at a Home Depot in Northeast Philadelphia. The federal agency’s database shows no other attempts to form a store-wide union at the company, though a group of 60 Home Depot delivery drivers in San Diego successfully unionized with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 2019.
A Home Depot spokesperson told the Associated Press that the company is aware of the filing and “we look forward to talking to our associates about their concerns.”
“While we will of course work through the NLRB process, we do not believe unionization is the best solution for our associates,” Home Depot spokesperson Sara Gorman said in an email.
Vincent Quiles, a store employee who is leading the petition, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he delivered the petition with 103 worker signatures to the federal labor board Tuesday. He told the newspaper workers felt exploited during the pandemic and were concerned with compensation, staffing, and working conditions.
An apparent Home Depot training video gained traction on TikTok last year, citing the legally binding nature of signing a union petition and saying that unions often make promises that they can’t guarantee.
Worker discontent has galvanized labor movements at several major companies in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which sparked tensions over sick leave policies, scheduling, safety and other issues.
In a surprise victory, Amazon workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted in favor of unionizing in April, though similar efforts at other warehouses so far have been unsuccessful. At least 238 US Starbucks stores have voted to unionize over the past year, according to the NLRB, including more than a dozen in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Last week, rail workers won key concessions in a tentative agreement with rail companies that averted a potentially devastating shutdown of the nation’s freight trains.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.