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Trader Joe’s Withheld Raises at Unionizing Minneapolis Shop

Plus MOA shooting, south Minneapolis meat consolidation, and a very smart doctor in today's Flyover.

The local aspiring TJ's union going public this past June inside the Minneapolis store.
@SheighforMN65 via Twitter

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Unionizing Minneapolis Trader Joe’s Workers Allege Union Busting

Racket broke news in late June that the downtown Minneapolis Trader Joe’s had become the grocery chain’s second unionizing location, following in the footsteps of the history-making Hadley, Massachusetts, shop. “We want to be the best employees we can be, and we don’t feel the structures currently support that,” crewmember Sarah Beth Ryther told us. “We love Trader Joe’s, but our voices need to be louder.” Apparently TJ’s corporate wants to keep those voices at the present volume. In a great follow-up piece, Minnesota Reformer’s Max Nesterak reports that, just ahead of the union election out East, Trader Joe’s extended $10 weekend/holiday pay bumps to every U.S. store, with two notable exceptions: Hadley, which ended up winning its union, and Minneapolis. You’re free to read/believe the company rationale, but crewmember Kitty Lu smells bullshit.

She tells Nesterak that her store’s “captain” (TJ lingo for “manager”) has used regular performance reviews to “spew anti-union myths.” Additionally, she says a break room memo “scare tactic” warns union-curious workers that the union might share their home addresses, thus leading to uninvited guests rapping upon their doors. Sound menacingly ridiculous enough to warrant filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board? That’s exactly what Lu did. The 70-ish Minneapolis TJ’s workers will vote Thursday on whether to unionize; there’s a rally this Saturday to draw public support. “I’m glad that there is this wave of unions right now,” Lu tells the Reformer, adding that she’s confident the yeas will outweigh the nays. “And I’m happy to be part of it.”

Police Don’t Know What Happened at MoA. Alt-Right Twitter Does.

Mall of America went into lockdown yesterday after someone fired multiple gunshots outside of the second-level Nike store. Police say the incident involved two groups of people, and the shots were fired by one individual who returned after a verbal altercation. Shoppers and employees were ushered into backrooms until they were able to safely leave about two hours later. Police report that no one was hurt.

For hours afterward, authorities attempted to locate the shooter, who reportedly ran from the scene by foot. The shooter was initially suspected to be hiding out in a hotel near the mall, but that theory was later debunked, Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges tells the Star Tribune. (The fact that a shooter apparently walked out of what’s likely the most surveilled and patrolled shopping centers in America does raise that nagging “What do cops do, anyway?” question.) “Please turn yourself in,” Hodges requested at a press conference last night. (Does that answer the question?)

Meanwhile, Twitter racists and Alpha News have been busy posting phone vids that may or may not have been filmed at the time of the incident, blaming the Somali community as a whole (because the suspect is believed to be Black), and pointing out that MoA bans guns on the premises. Yes, this chaotic situation definitely needed more guns.

Revival Reconsiders Real Estate, Reasonably Resizes

Not too long ago, co-owners Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer opened their Revival Smoked Meats concept at 46th & Nicollet in south Minneapolis, which put it less than a half mile from their original Revival at 43rd & Nicollet. At the time, we were like, “Hm, what an unusual choice!” And it seems we weren’t the only ones: Rancone and Boemer announced today that the original Revival location, which has been around since 2015, will close, merging with the smoked meats concept down the road. “We’ll miss that space, we’ve been in it since the Revival beginning,” Boemer said on Instagram, with Rancone adding: “It just made sense to bring it all under one roof. We thought it would work to keep them separate, chicken down there and smoked meats up here, but the neighborhood kept telling us they wished they could have it all together.” So there you have it, folks—all things meaty and smoky and fried, now available in the old Corner Table space.

Dr. Scott Jensen Wants You to Beat the Living Shit Out of a Pro-Dr.-Scott-Jensen Bus

It’s school bus demolition derby day at the Sibley County Fair, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen wants attendees to unleash hell on this year’s bus… which also happens to be a DYI Jensen campaign sign:

You could view the bus as a loaded policy metaphor, one that applies to Jensen’s views on education (“school choice,” aka killing public ed) or public transit (light rail is a “boondoggle”). But it’s more fun to bask in the general stupidity of Jensen’s nodding approval over a pro-Jensen bus getting pounded into oblivion.

Anyway, hope you pound plenty of beverages this weekend. TGIF.