NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- In light of being cited for unfair labor practices, Legislator Peter Harckham (D-North Salem) is calling for a boycott of Mrs. Green's Natural Market.
Mrs. Green's Natural Market, which has locations throughout Westchester and Fairfield, has been battling with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1500 over its attempt to organize at its Mount Kisco location.
According to LoHud, the workers filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board shortly before a union vote in May and settled with Mrs. Green's in November.
Two months ago, Mrs. Green's fired the nine employees who supported the union, citing "poor customer service."
Harckham has joined the workers who are picketing at its Mount Kisco location. Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers) has also supported and joined the picketers.
"Their mission statement is to promote health and sustainability but they don't apply to the same standards to their employees," Harckham said. "Employees have a right to attempt to organize. This is unconscionable."
Mrs. Green's did not respond to a request for comment.
Harckham said he will not shop at any Mrs. Green's location until they hire the employees back.
"This is not keeping with the values of Westchester County," Harckham said. "They are a holistic neighborhood market but treat their employees in horrendous fashion."
Harckham said he was a weekly shopper to Mrs. Green's, going to its Katonah location to get his vitamins.
"We are getting reasonable minded people to open their eyes and see how this store treats its employees," Harckham said. "We are sending a message to management- this is not acceptable. I have a bully pulpit, and it's my responsibility to say something."
Harckham said he would go to Whole Foods or get his vitamins online. A new vitamin store also opened in Bedford Hills.
"We want to attract people and companies to Westchester," Harckham said. "What does this say to the workers in Westchester?"
Reaction to Harckham's boycott on his Facebook page has been positive.
"Thank God there's farmer's markets," Jacques Saisselin said. "Thank you for taking a very public and courageous stand on this one."
The UFCW also expressed its support for the boycott.
"This is what we need from all of our elected officials, accountability," the UFCW posted.