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Food delivery startup drivers vote to unionize

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Drivers at the food delivery startup Imperfect Foods in San Francisco have voted to unionize, the local United Food and Commercial Workers union announced Friday.

The 80 eligible employees voted 28 to 23 to join the United Food & Commercial Workers international union, according to Bloomberg.

The company, which delivers boxes of “ugly” produce that it claims would otherwise go unused via a subscription service, plans to challenge the results, a spokesperson told The Hill.

The group of Imperfect Foods employees in Northern California started organizing last year seeking better pay, access to health care and worker protections.

The drivers voted to join UFCW Local 5 in July.

“We organized with UFCW Local 5 because we know companies that profess to do good, like Imperfect Foods, will pursue bottom line profits over the health and safety of their workers unless they are held accountable,” Chris Jasinski, a grocery delivery worker at the company, said in a statement.

“For essential workers like us helping families get the food they need during COVID-19, this is a major victory as we continue to speak out to ensure these are good-paying union jobs our community needs,” he added about the recent vote.

The Imperfect Foods spokesperson told The Hill that the company believes “believes that the results were materially impacted by the inability of certain drivers to timely obtain ballots.”

“Because of this possible hindrance in the voting process, the company intends to challenge the results of the election,” they continued. “Imperfect Foods wants to ensure all voices are heard and will continue to provide its drivers the competitive benefits, wages, and supportive working environment they deserve.”

The vote is a victory for organized labor efforts to unionize startups, especially in the food delivery space.

Unlike other platforms like Instacart or Doordash, Imperfect Foods drivers are full employees rather than independent contractors.

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