A majority of employees at three locations have signed union cards

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 28, 2022) – A majority of employees at three Union Kitchen locations are seeking to unionize with the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.

Workers presented signed union authorization cards to management on Wednesday afternoon and requested voluntary recognition of the union. The employees also filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board in the event that management refuses to voluntarily recognize the union.

Employees with the union organizing committee cite several concerns leading up to the union effort, including understaffing, retention, pay discrepancies and COVID leave policies.

Rob Ballock, a shift lead who started in October 2020, sees the union as an opportunity to solve retention issues. “I’ve seen too many excellent coworkers leave because they feel they have no choice but to move on to different jobs in different industries to finally get the pay and respect that everybody deserves in the workplace.”

Emily Davis, a manager in training who started in August 2020, said, “I am excited to be a part of this union to help better the working environment for my coworkers who give this job their all no matter what difficulties we face, and to make sure that we are seen and heard as individuals who are valuable to the company.”

The three locations forming a union include:

  • 1625 Eckington Pl NE, Washington, DC 20002
  • 538 Third St NE, Washington, DC 20002
  • 1251 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

The Union Kitchen organizing effort follows shortly after baristas and booksellers at Politics and Prose recently won recognition of their union after the owners initially declined.


The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 is led by President Mark Federici and represents 35,000 members working in the grocery, retail, health care, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. www.ufcw400.org