WATERBURY, VT. – Workers at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream processing factory in Waterbury, Vt., unionized, joining the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
The ice cream manufacturer’s parent company, Unilever, agreed to neutrality and UFCW noted that made it possible for the Ben & Jerry’s employees at the plant to achieve union recognition via card check on Dec. 13.
UFCW international president Marc Perrone said the private sector union was “extremely proud” to welcome the ice cream processors.
“From Cherry Garcia to Chunky Monkey, Ben & Jerry’s workers at the Waterbury, Vermont, plant proudly make some of the country’s most recognizable ice cream flavors,” Perrone said. “As America’s food processing union, we are thrilled at the opportunity to not only represent, but uplift, workers at such an iconic American brand and we look forward to bringing this opportunity to other Unilever plants across the country. These workers know better than anyone that whether it’s in a cup or cone, union victory tastes sweet.”
Ronald M. Petronella, president of UFCW Local 371, said the Ben & Jerry’s employees “made their voices heard.”
“We are glad to see Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever live up to their stated values by recognizing their workers’ right to unionize instead of forcing a long and drawn out election process,” Petronella said. “Ben & Jerry’s employees work hard to make the ice cream that so many Americans know and love and we look forward to sitting down at the bargaining table to negotiate a contract with Unilever that gives them the benefits that they have earned and deserve.”