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LAKELAND, Fla. - On Wednesday Publix Super Markets' Miami distribution facility associates voted no to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Of the
270 eligible voting group, 246 associates participated in the election, with 45 voting for the UFCW. Out of the 201 remaining ballots, the UFCW refused to allow 65 votes to be counted, according to Publix. The remaining 136 votes were against the union.
"Since it was the UFCW challenging the votes, we believe, had these 65 votes been counted, the results would have been closer to 200 votes against the union," said Publix Spokesman Lee Brunson.
The voting group consisted of the following areas: cafeteria, forklift, lead warehouse workers, loader/unloader, receiving, safety trainer, sanitation, selector, system administrator and yard jockey.
Brunson said, "On their own time and at their own expense, our associates have campaigned against the UFCW with buttons, shirts and fliers. Their voices have now been heard. The results of this election confirm that Publix associates do not wish to be represented by the union. We're pleased with the outcome of the election and the message it sends to the UFCW."
The UFCW issued a press released on Wednesday saying that Publix "poisoned" the union election process with "an illegal management campaign of intimidation, harassment and coercion.
"We will continue to fight with the Publix workers for their right to have a voice at work to improve wages, benefits and working conditions," the press release stated.
In 1999 the UFCW filed and subsequently withdrew two petitions for elections at the Miami distribution facility. Publix maintains that the UFCW withdrew these petitions because it felt it wouldn't win the elections.