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Updated: Lululemon Workers Withdraw Petition to Unionize D.C. Store

Updated, August 17: Lululemon employees have withdrawn their petition to unionize a Washington, D.C. store. The store was previously on track to become the first unionized Lululemon location.

The organizing group requested to withdraw its petition to form a union on Sunday, according to records from the National Labor Relations Board. The body approved the request on Tuesday.

The group’s Twitter account, which had previously outlined the union’s demands and platform, appears to have been deleted.

“The National Labor Relations Board has informed us that they have approved the Association of Concerted Educators’ request to voluntarily withdraw the petition to unionize one of our stores located in Washington, D.C.,” a Lululemon spokesperson told FN in statement. “We value the connection we have with our employees and welcome ongoing open and honest two-way communication.”

What we reported on July 22:

A Lululemon store has started the process of organizing a union.

A store in Washington, D.C. on July 21 filed a request with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election. The group is looking for the company to voluntarily recognize their union, which is called the “Association of Concerted Educators,” likely a nod to the word used to describe retail employees at the chain.

With this move, this store becomes the first Lululemon location to embark on the unionization process — and the latest retail store to initiate a move. In a tweet from the union’s Twitter account, the group said it was demanding more collaboration, transparency and equitable pay structures.

“Our core values of personal responsibility, entrepreneurship, honesty, courage, connection, fun and inclusion led us to this decision,” the union wrote. “We show up ready to truly connect with our guests and truly create fun and memorable experience. We seek to uphold our value of inclusion in everything we do. These are the reasons we are collectively saying: Recognize our union.”

A wave of unionization efforts have become common across retail in recent months. Since December, three corporate-owned Starbucks stores have unionized, with more conducting votes and expressing interest. Employees at an Amazon warehouse on New York’s Staten Island officially voted to form the first Amazon union in April. In May, employees at a Christiansburg, Va. Target store filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, largely stemming from the desire to have veteran employees receive an additional $2 of pay per hour.

Two REI stores have also embarked on the unionization process. REI workers in a New York City store in early March carried out a union vote, making it the first organized REI store in the U.S.

“At Lululemon, our culture is built upon creating lasting relationships with one another and putting our people first,” a Lululemon spokesperson said in a statement. “We value the direct connection we have with our employees and encourage open and honest two-way communication, ongoing collaboration, and trust. We were recently notified of a petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board from a store in Washington, DC. We respect the process, and welcome being in continued conversations with our teams.”

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