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To: Heather Isely, Executive Vice President; Kemper Isely, Co-President; Zephyr Isely, Co-President; Elizabeth Isely, Executive Vice President; Todd Dissinger, Chief Financial Officer

Natural Grocers: Uphold Your Commitments to Crew and Community!

We the employees of Natural Grocers - with support of customers and community members - believe that establishing a union to represent us is our only way to have democratic representation and protection at work. We also believe that this would enable the company to better uphold their principals and goals.

As a community of employees and customers at the Oklahoma Natural Grocers stores, we have observed a rapid shift within the company in the past several years. Many long-time employees have been fired for minor policy violations that could clearly be addressed with a simple conversation. These firings have come as a deep shock to the wider community, especially given the years of labor, knowledge, and exemplary customer service these employees have brought with them. Other employees with similar knowledge and community relationships have suddenly left after being pressured by the company to quit due to increased corrective actions for minor policy violations. Since the beginning of 2024, we have also observed a concentrated effort at the Norman and Tulsa store locations to accrue write ups - more rapidly than ever before, for minor policy violations that have rarely been punished at this level - particularly for workers who are known to be pro-union.

Natural Grocers has also taken steps to impede the rights of their workers to organize by actions such as holding captive audience meetings with a consultant who is known for “union-busting.” Miko Penn of The Crossroads Group has been compensated by Natural Grocers to hold multiple captive audience meetings at the Norman and Tulsa stores. You can see her featured on the “Union Busting” episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and there is further coverage of her work in this article: There is additional evidence of her work on this website:

The employees who are organizing are not asking for the world. We have no doubt that Natural Grocers has the capacity to meet the demands of their workers, given that their own reported numbers tell us so (see this link: In 2022, Natural Grocers made a gross profit of 304.9 million dollars. In 2023, Natural Grocers’ gross profit increased by 7.2% to 326.5 million. Also, in 2023, Natural Grocers invested 38 million dollars into new stores openings, store remodels and store relocations. There are also plans to open 2 more locations in 2024.

Why is this important?

We believe that these firings and targeting of employees, the affects these have on the wider community, and the steps Natural Grocers has taken to impede the rights of their workers to organize are in violation of the company’s proclaimed commitments to crew and community. Community is formed through relationships. Customers and crew have formed meaningful relationships over the years and those relationships can better inform company policies to better serve customers. This is a COMMUNITY CALL to UPHOLD Margaret Isley’s five founding principles (see more here: by respecting workers’ rights or organize and embracing the desired feedback structure of workers. We understand that COMMITMENTS require ACCOUNTABILITY, and evidence has shown us that the path to that accountability is a union for Natural Grocers workers.
We do believe that the founders of Natural Grocers and the current leadership do genuinely care. We do believe that, unlike a company like Amazon, Natural Grocers could take the feedback of this petition and address our concerns. We hope they will not disappoint us.

Community Member Testimony
“The warmth and genuine conversations that I have with all of the crew is why I love shopping there, and I want them to feel just as comfortable and supported. It is really distressing to me that a store that I love, value, and respect is causing its employees to feel unsafe about asking for better working conditions, pay, and benefits. I hope that through incorporating the feedback of their employees, Natural Grocers can become an even healthier environment holistically because they value everyone who keeps the store flourishing.”

Crew Member Testimony
“I have been an employee at the Natural Grocers in Norman, Oklahoma, store #48, for over 8 years. I work very hard to connect intentionally with each customer I encounter and to find them what they need. I have brilliant and kind coworkers and former coworkers whom I have witnessed do the same. I have seen our store act as a community center in many ways. Whenever I go out in Norman, I almost always run into one of my regular customers and they greet me. I have watched children grow up in our store. My apron is filled with buttons and pins, many of them gifts from customers and others in my community. To this day, this is my favorite job I have ever had. But I am sad to say that the company and my little store are rapidly changing, and not for the better.

I want a union because I do care deeply for my coworkers, my store, my community, and the future of the company. I believe that a union would provide a more accessible feedback and representation system for workers and that this would enable the company to better uphold their principals and goals.”


2024-04-16 20:14:15 -0400

We have an election scheduled on May 9th. This is huge. The company is also going to really try to get pro-union numbers down between now and then. Take a step this week or next week to let the company know you are with us.

Please make a post and share with others, as well. You can access the toolkit at

2024-03-12 17:17:36 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2024-03-12 15:12:57 -0400

All workers in the area who are interested in joining this campaign should follow this link: If you have questions contact the UFCW Office Phone 817-421-1003.

2024-03-12 15:08:52 -0400

We have received an overwhelming amount of support! Thank you all so much. Please keep sharing this petition via text and email. We are working to spread it on social media this week, as well. Continue to share it widely. The hope is that this public support and coverage will help slow down the firing of pro-union employees and make way for us to build our union campaign across more Natural Grocers stores. The more stores we have, the more likely we are to get a successful union contract with the company. We truly believe that a union would provide a more accessible feedback and representation system for workers and that this would enable the company to better uphold their principals and goals. This is going to be a long fight but we believe that we can achieve it together!

2024-03-12 13:55:30 -0400

500 signatures reached

2024-02-28 18:56:01 -0500

100 signatures reached

2024-02-28 14:04:07 -0500

50 signatures reached

2024-02-28 12:41:38 -0500

25 signatures reached

2024-02-28 11:46:35 -0500

10 signatures reached