Philadelphia Home Depot workers vote to reject unionization

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Home Depot workers in Philadelphia rejected the first store-wide labor union at the world's largest home improvement retailer Saturday night, a loss for a fledgling movement to organize at major U.S. companies.

Workers voted 165 to 51 against forming Home Depot Workers United, which would have represented 274 employees at the store, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the voting. The company and union organizations have five days to file objections.

The defeat for the organizers could discourage activist workers who have successfully formed the first unions at big chains, including Amazon, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Apple, but have since suffered setbacks in getting collective bargaining off the ground or organizing more unions.

The Atlanta-based company employs about 500,000 people at its 2,316 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

After the failed union vote, Home Depot spokesperson Margaret Smith told WHYY, “We’re happy that the associates at this store voted to continue working directly with the company. That connection is important to our culture, and we will continue listening to our associates and making The Home Depot a great place to work and grow.”

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