From the Fort Wayne (Ind.) News Sentinel, “Leininger column: In support of secrecy“:

This story actually began in April 2007, when the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. bought all 18 non-unionized Scott’s Foods stores in northeast Indiana and asked the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which already represented Kroger employees, to wait at least a year before trying to organize Scott’s employees. As of today, employees at eight of the remaining 14 Scott’s stores – including John Carroll’s store on West State Boulevard – have agreed to representation by UFCW Local 700, according to Kroger spokesman John Elliott.

But that representation wasn’t the product of an anonymous vote, which some employees of the West State store say influenced them to support something they would have otherwise opposed.

“I love Scott’s, but I’m probably going to quit because of this,” said Rebecca Coffelt, 18, a student at Elmhurst High School. “I’m not anti-union, but I didn’t like the way they came across. They were always harassing me. I didn’t really want to sign, but I was trying to control my temper and help customers. I was more worried about customers yelling at me (than signing the union card.)”

“I signed, too, because they kept telling me I had to sign and that the union was already approved. We were told we’d have a vote, but we never did. It’s really irritating,” agreed Tara Groves, 16, a student at Northrop High School.

Groves, Coffelt and John Carroll said they doubt the union would have won a secret vote among store employees – if one had been held, that is.

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