Man says Trader Joe's is 'joining' forces with Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos to make unions unconstitutional

@nikotheherb/TikTok Sundry Photography/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘This is the first I’ve heard of this’: Customer calls for temporary boycott of Trader Joe’s after they ‘joined forces’ with Amazon, Elon Musk

'I been boycotting Trader Joe’s for years.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Mar 9, 2024

Social media influencer Niko (@nikotheherb) a self-proclaimed “commie bastard” posted a viral TikTok claiming that Trader Joe’s is joining forces with Amazon and Elon Musk to argue to the Supreme Court that the National Labor Relations Board’s actions are unconstitutional.

It appears that he’s referring to Amazon’s filings which AP News says is a “response” to claims “from agency prosecutors who allege the company unlawfully retaliated against workers at a New York City warehouse who voted to unionize nearly two years ago.”

In his video, he calls out Trader Joe’s, which is known for selling organic, for engaging in alleged union-busting tactics and siding with companies run by the oft-maligned billionaires. It seems that he’s encouraging folks to boycott the grocery store chain, and added that TJ’s also supports the state of Israel.

“The only reason that the Trader Joe’s union has not called for a boycott, it’s because they haven’t had enough people sign onto their customer strike pledge,” he says, showing a screenshot of the pledge by Trader Joe’s United.

“A customer strike is essentially a temporary boycott until Trader Joe’s gives into the people’s demands,” he continues before explaining how the store is “joining forces” with Amazon and Elon Musk to “take the National Labor Relations Board to the Supreme Court.”

The TikToker concludes, “I’m just saying, because the union hasn’t received enough signatures to call for a boycott it doesn’t mean that y’all can’t start.”

Commenters had a litany of different responses to the TikToker’s post. Some expressed not wanting to purchase anything that is associated with the state of Israel.

“I didn’t know they had israeli products, now I’m seriously considering not buying from them,” one wrote.

@nikotheherb #traderjoes ♬ original sound – Niko 🌿

Someone else referenced the fact that Trader Joe’s carried Israeli wares, writing, “Ah so Trader Joe’s wants to go the Starbucks route. Mmkay Not another cent.”

Other people have posted their disdain for Trader Joe’s selling “Israeli Matzo” crackers in its store, and The Jerusalem Post remarked that the chain, in October 2022, decided to strike the word “Israeli” from its couscous labeling and investigated the matter, but a representative from the supermarket stated that the reason for the label change had more to do with where the supplier sourced its ingredients from.

Someone else accused Trader Joe’s of firing employees for vocalizing their support for Palestine.

“TRADER JOES IN ASHEVILLE FIRED EMPLOYEES FOR SUPPORTING PALESTINE, they gave false reasons for firing them that directly contradict past employee performance reviews,” they said.

Others directed their ire at Trader Joe’s for the company’s purported Union busting practices. One employee for the chain thanked Niko for his video, writing, “Trader joes crew here. thank you.”

Someone else said, “I love Trader Joe’s food but I love liberation more. We deserve better. Workers deserve better.”

Another said that their boycott of Trader Joe’s has more to do with the retailer’s packaging decisions for its produce.

“I been boycotting Trader Joe’s for years bc why do the need put my tomatoes in so much plastic,” one said.

One person who wrote that they helped organize a union for Louisville-based Trader Joe’s didn’t have very nice things to say about the store.

“I was an organizer at the Louisville location,” they claimed. “It’s been a total sh*tshow, and the company STILL refuses to acknowledge our win. I no longer work there, but I love people that do so thank you for this.”

Fast Company has reported on claims from Trader Joe’s employees that the brand is engaging in “union-busting” tactics to prevent workers from banding together. Communications director for Trader Joe’s United, Maeg Yosef, told the outlet that Trader Joe’s has been disingenuous in its dealings with employees: “They have delivered threats, told people they wouldn’t get raises if they unionized, just lie after lie,” and that the franchise “has rolled out the sort of union-busting campaign you might see at Amazon or Starbucks.”

Trader Joe’s workers, the article states, have also complained about stress-induced back injuries associated with working at Supermarkets, adding that Trader Joe’s has reduced the amount of coverage for its workforce and “cut retirement contributions,” as per The New York Times.

The outlet went on to feature a quote from labor sociologist Ruth Milkman who said that the unionization of Trader Joe’s could help to reverse the trend of declining unionized workforce numbers in the United States.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Trader Joe’s via email and Niko via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Mar 9, 2024, 9:00 am CST