In an effort to turn up the pressure on Dunkin’ Donuts to settle an unfair labor practice dispute in southern New Jersey, the union representing striking workers at the Dunkin’ Donuts Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center in Swedesboro, New Jersey, Friday (6 July) called for a national boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts products.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1360 is planning to request the national AFL-CIO to include Dunkin’ Donuts on its national boycott list as a result of the company’s continuing use of strikebreakers and its refusal to bargain with the Union, in spite of a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board ordering the company to bargain with the Union.

Ever since they walked out five weeks ago, the striking Dunkin Donuts workers have maintained an around the clock vigil at the Dunkin’ Donuts Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center in Swedesboro, New Jersey. The NLRB has found that Dunkin’ Donuts has committed over seventy violations of federal labor laws in its attempt to prevent the workers at the warehouse facility from gaining union representation.

UFCW Local 1360 President Clay Bowman noted that Dunkin’ Donuts has cut off health benefits for the striking workers as of this week and that the company was using temporary workers supplied by Labor Ready, Inc., as strikebreakers at the warehouse and drivers from as far away as South Carolina to drive delivery trucks.

“It is obvious to us that the strings on the company’s side are being pulled by Dunkin’ Donuts, Inc., and its parent company, Allied Domecq, and that their sole objective is to break this effort to bring the benefits of collective bargaining to the employees at the Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center,” said Bowman. “Their concerted efforts at the national level to deny these workers their right to fair representation is the reason why we must respond with a call for a national boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts products.”

Bowman noted that many union members across the nation, when made aware of the way Dunkin’ Donuts treats its warehouse employees, will stop buying Dunkin’ Donuts products in a show of support for the striking workers.

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“There are thousands of construction workers in major cities, for example, who start their day with coffee and donuts from a Dunkin’ Donuts store,” he said. “When we tell them the truth about what our Dunkin’ Donuts members are facing we are confident that they will stop patronizing Dunkin’ Donuts stores. This is the kind of concerted boycott effort that we believe will help stop Dunkin’ Donuts from continuing to violate federal labor laws and bring them back to the bargaining table to resolve these issues.”

In a related matter, the President of the national AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, in a speech to a New Jersey AFL-CIO conference on June 19th, criticized Dunkin’ Donuts and the Deborah Heart and Lung facility in Browns Mills, New Jersey, for their anti-union activities.

“Despite the fact that the Dunkin’ Donuts workers won a bargaining order last year, the company still has not negotiated a union contract and continues to fire union activists. And despite that fact that labor unions in New York and New Jersey have supported Deborah Heart and Lung with our contributions for 50 years, this non-profit organization has been acting like a private corporation and running a vicious anti-union campaign,” said Sweeney. “I want these employers and the public and, most important, these workers to know that the recognition strike at Dunkin’ Donuts and the campaign at Deborah are being supported by more than just all unions and all union members in New Jersey. They are supported by 64 unions of the AFL-CIO, 13 million members of these unions and 40 million men, women and children living in union households in our country, and together we will bring both of these renegade employers to justice.”

UFCW Local 1360 is also involved in the organizing effort that is ongoing at Deborah Heart and Lung.

UFCW Local 1360 represents 10,000 workers in the retail food, food processing, health care and service industries in southern New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania.

     Rose Kelly
Organizing Director
UFCW Local 1360
Cell Phone: 609-706-4924