Home Depot employees in Philadelphia have filed a petition with the federal labor board with the intention of forming the first store-wide union at one of the world’s largest home improvement retailers.
The petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday with the hopes of forming a collective bargaining unit for 274 merchandising, specialty and operations employees at the company. According to the NLRB filing, the union is listed as “Home Depot Workers United.”
Based on the federal agency’s online database, there have been no other attempts by Home Depot employees to form a store-wide union at the company. However, a small group of Home Depot drivers successfully unionized in 2019 with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
A store employee involved in organizing the petition, Vincent Quiles, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the petition was delivered to the NLRB with the signatures of 103 employees. Quiles reportedly said that employees felt exploited by Home Depot during the pandemic and shared concerns about working conditions, staffing and compensation.
Home Depot spokesperson Sara Gorman told The Philadelphia Tribune that the company was aware of the filing and that “we look forward to talking to our associates about their concerns.”
"Our open-door policy is designed to assure all associates that they can bring concerns directly to leadership, and we have a track record of working successfully with our associates to resolve them. While we will of course work through the NLRB process, we do not believe unionization is the best solution for our associates," Gorman said.
The filing comes amidst a year that has seen a wave of attempts to unionize at large worldwide organizations. Workers at companies such as Amazon and Starbucks have attempted to kick off labor movements to various levels of success in the wake of widespread discontent regarding working conditions following the COVID-19 pandemic.