AUSTINBURG — Save-A-Lot Distribution Center workers will vote on whether or not to unionize early next month.

If the distribution center employees vote to unionize, they would be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 880. The ballot will be a yes or no question, whether or not UFCW will represent them, according to a sample ballot.

The vote is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4, from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days. Voting will be open to employees at the distribution center who were employed during the pay period that ended on Aug. 31, according to the legal notice announcing the election.

The employees eligible to vote on unionization are warehouse employees, including order selectors, receivers, forklift operators, utility persons, inventory control specialists, dock workers, loaders, auditors, maintenance employees, QA inspectors, office clerks and sanitation employees, according to the notice.

Those not allowed to vote are lead office clerks, confidential employees, professional employees, guards and supervisors, the notice said.

The vote on unionization will require a simple majority to take effect, according to the UFCW. Rules for conduct are laid out by the legal notice from the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees the process.

The vote will be overseen by NLRB officials, and both the distribution center and the employees will have an opportunity to have observers monitoring the voting. No one may promise a raise or threaten to fire someone to influence their vote. There is also a moratorium on giving speeches on company time with mandatory attendance within 24 hours of the vote, according to the election announcement.

The votes will be counted immediately after the second voting period on Oct. 4, according to the election announcement.

The NLRB was founded in 1935 after the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, according to the NLRB website. The Act was intended to protect the rights of employees and employers, the NLRB's website said.

UFCW represents 1.3 million workers in various food, retail and factory workers, according to the union's website. UFCW Local 880 represents 20,000 workers in northeast Ohio, a union spokesperson said. The union was founded in 1979, according to their website.

If the distribution center does vote to unionize, contract negotiations will be the next step, a UFCW spokesperson said.

Save-A-Lot did not respond to a request for comment.

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