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Eugene REI store could be among first in the nation to unionize

A storefront. Sign above door reads: "REI Recreational Equipment, Inc."
Nathan Wilk
The REI store in Eugene is amongst the first in the country where employees have petitioned to vote to unionize.

The REI store in Eugene could become one of the first of the chain’s locations with unionized employees. Workers there filed a petition last week to set the process in motion.

Employees will choose whether to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents over a million workers nationwide.

In a written statement, union member Forrest Houldin said the goal is to ensure higher wages, more equitable hours and accountability from management.

Eugene is one of four REI locations to file for an election so far this month. Currently, only three out of the more than 180 REI stores in the country are unionized, according to UFCW.

A spokesperson for REI said the outdoor recreation store supports the right of employees to participate in the election. The vote has not yet been scheduled.

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.
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