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San Francisco-Marin Food Bank workers vote to unionize

Employees at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank voted Thursday to join the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 29 that represents nonprofit employees across the country.

Seventy-five percent of the food bank’s 100 program coordinators, drivers, intake specialists, order builders and other employees voted to join the union, the food bank’s program coordinator Edith Cadena said.

The employees sought to unionize to ensure greater transparency and to have the ability to participate more fully in decisions that impact the community, according to a news release by the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.

Cadena said:

“We want to make sure there is a structure in place to give staff the opportunity for growth.”

She would not disclose more specific information that led to the union vote.

The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank has two warehouses that are expanding their space, one at 900 Pennsylvania Ave. in San Francisco and the other at 2550 Kerner Blvd in San Rafael.

The expansions will enable the food bank to increase service from 141,000 to 200,000 people each week, increase its annual amount of food distribution from 48 million to 75 million pounds and increase the food bank’s community partners, that include soup kitchens, shelters, churches and community organizations, from 387 to 500, according to the food bank.

Cadena said:

“In forming our union, the Food Bank staff gain a stronger voice in our workplace and community. We want to ensure our colleagues, who are experts in their fields, feel empowered to voice their ideas and have an opportunity to see their impact.”

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