If all goes as expected, by late Saturday night, workers in a Philadelphia Home Depot
Voting started on Wednesday, November 2, and more than 260 Home Depot employees are eligible to cast a vote to decide whether or not to join the newly formed Home Depot Workers United.
"The attitude in the store is that a change is needed," Vince Quiles, the lead organizer for the Home Depot union told The Philadelphia Inquirer in October.
In response to union efforts, Home Depot said in a statement that a union wouldn't be "the best solution of its staff," adding, "Our open-door policy is designed to assure all associates that they can bring concerns directly to leadership, and we have a track record of working successfully with our associates to resolve them."
If the union is successful, Home Depot would join the growing list of giant companies facing their first-ever unions, alongside Starbucks
Each of these union campaigns has received major pushback from employers, who have flooded stores with anti-union management, held mandatory "captive audience" anti-union meetings, and earned a flurry of complaints for labor law violations for anti-union retaliation.
Workers at the Philadelphia store say they've faced their own share of anti-union tactics, including captive audience meetings. Quiles also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that Home Depot had put pro-union workers under surveillance during shifts and that managers had been "interrogating" them about their organizing activities.
"For so long, they moved without impunity," Quiles said at a gathering with other local unions. "And so this is just great to show support to the people in the building, feel support myself, and to remind Home Depot that there is a group of people out there who are out trying to do the right thing."
These anti-organizing efforts have led to a drop in applications to the NLRB to hold union votes. Even in locations where unions have taken hold, like the 251 unionized Starbucks stores, employers aren't willing to negotiate with them.
Retail has historically been a difficult industry for labor organizing, with unions including just 4.4% of retail workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This also isn't the first time Home Depot has faced a union vote. In 2019, a group of San Diego Home Depot delivery drivers successfully voted to unionize, but organizing hasn't spread any further.