Whole Foods Expects To Be In Labor Union Crosshairs

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market anticipates it will be the target of unionizing campaigns, the super natural retail chain's c.o.o. said last week at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit.

"Over the years in different markets we have had organizing efforts or public-information kind of picketing by the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) and we will have some in the future too," said A.C. Gallo, Whole Foods' c.o.o. "We are a nonunion company and we are proud of it."

If the UFCW seeks to set up an information counter at a Whole Foods store, Gallo said the chain would likely share its compensation information with the general public. He said the chain is "happy to tell our customers that this is what we pay our employees, and our team members will always be able to choose if they want to be unionized."

Whole Foods operates more than 170 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom -- the last of which is a market where it recently unveiled plans for a flagship store. Year-to-date, Whole Foods shares have risen by 36 percent, while the S&P 500 Index is virtually flat.

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