Philadelphia Home Depot workers reject first storewide union in vote

Home Depot workers in Philadelphia voted against forming the first storewide union on Saturday night.

Workers at the world’s largest home improvement retailer voted 165 to 51 to reject Home Depot Workers United forming to represent the store’s 274 employees, the National Labor Relations Board said.

The result is considered a loss for a movement that has managed to organize itself in large American companies.

Some militant workers have been successful in their organizing efforts. Employees at more than 230 Starbucks locations in the United States have voted to unionize since late 2021. In late August, Chipotle Mexican Grill employees at a restaurant in Lansing, Michigan, voted to join the Teamsters, marking the first instance for the restaurant chain.

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Exterior of Home Depot

Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith told WHYY the company was “pleased” that employees at the Philadelphia store voted to continue working directly with the company. (istock / iStock)

However, union organizers have since faced setbacks in starting collective bargaining or organizing more unions.

Vincent Quiles, the Home Depot employee leading the organizing effort, told WHYY-FM the attempt to organize workers had been a “tall order.”

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“It wouldn’t be an easy fight to fight,” Quiles said. “But you do these things because you think they are right.”

Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith told WHYY the company was “pleased” that employees at the Philadelphia store voted to continue working directly with the company.

Home Depot store front

Home Depot workers at a Philadelphia store refused to unionize in a 165-51 vote on Saturday night. (iStock/iStock)

“This connection is important to our culture, and we will continue to listen to our associates and make Home Depot a great place to work and grow,” Smith said.

The Atlanta-based company employs approximately 500,000 people at its 2,316 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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Home Depot and labor organizations have five days to file objections.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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