Ahold is one of the largest food retailers in the eastern United States and Europe. In 2010, the company generated $5.61 billion in sales in the US. Its American brands include Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Peapod, the largest online grocery delivery service in the country.
One of Ahold’s “royal pledges” to its employees is that all workers are
able to form and join a trade union without fear of intimidation.
Sixty-five percent of Ahold’s employees in the US benefit from a
positive relationship between the company and UFCW.
Yet in Richmond, Ahold operates a non-union chain, Martin’s, where
management refuses to give the predominantly African American workforce
the basic freedom to join a union as workers face aggressive anti-union
tactics aimed at intimidating them from exercising their basic rights.
The iHold campaign is a grassroots coalition of Ahold workers, civil
rights, religious, labor and community activists working together to end
the double standard at Ahold and make sure that all of its workers are
treated fairly and given the basic right to join together to have a
voice on the job.
In April, Shaquana Battle joined two other Ahold workers from Virginia
at the company’s shareholder meeting to tell their experiences of being
treated unfairly on the job.
“Union organizers are not allowed inside the stores to help us organize a
union,” Battle told the shareholder meeting. “Being that it’s in the
pledge of the company that you not interfere, I was wondering why, in my
company, are they having anti-union meetings?”
Don Gathers also works at a Martin’s in Richmond, “I just want the
opportunity to vote for our future, the chance to improve our working
conditions and morale. It’s been proven over the years that happy
employees are better employees. It’s a win-win situation for the
workers, for management, for the shareholders, and for our customers.”
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