Waterbury, VT. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 371, which represents essential workers in grocery, meatpacking, food processing, retail, and other essential industries across CT, MA and Vermont, released a statement following Unilever’s announcement that the company will spin off its Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream unit.

UFCW Local 371 President Ronald M. Petronella released the following statement:

“Now more than ever, Ben & Jerry’s workers need a voice at their workplace. As the union for food processing workers, we are here to stand with any Ben & Jerry’s workers impacted by this news.

“UFCW Local 371 remains firmly committed to working with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream workers to secure a strong union contract and protect good jobs in Vermont, no matter what the structure of Unilever’s ice cream business is.”


UFCW Local 371 is part of the UFCW International, the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.2 million workers and their families in retail, grocery, meatpacking, food processing, cannabis, healthcare and other essential industries in all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

“My husband and I both work for Stop and Shop, so our entire financial world was about to change. I had to keep strong for my employees, but this wasn’t an easy task when I was so nervous on the inside. Going on strike for two weeks, not knowing what was going to happen to us financially as a family was frightening.” These were some of the thoughts shared by Lucy Sciarretto this morning when speaking to to legislators and the press. Lucy was speaking in favor of HB 5164, a bill that would allow striking workers to collect unemployment benefits after they have been on strike for two consecutive weeks.

The UFCW Local 371 is extremely proud to welcome the hard-working ice cream processors at Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury, Vermont plant to our union family. From Cherry Garcia to Chubby Hubby, Ben and Jerry’s workers at the Waterbury, Vermont plant proudly make some of the country’s most recognizable ice cream flavors. As America’s food processing union, we are thrilled at the opportunity to not only represent, but uplift, workers at such an iconic American brand and we look forward to bringing this opportunity to other Ben & Jerry’s plants across the country. These workers know better than anyone that whether it’s in a cup or cone, union victory tastes sweet.

We applaud the Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury plant employees who made their voices heard today by joining the UFCW through card check recognition. Ben & Jerry’s are well known for their progressive politics, and we held them to their word. We are glad to see Ben & Jerry’s live up to their stated values by recognizing their workers’ right to unionize instead of forcing a long and drawn out election process. Ben & Jerry’s employees work hard to make the ice cream that so many Americans know and love and we look forward to sitting down at the bargaining table to negotiate a contract that gives them the benefits that they have earned and deserve.