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Employees of Budwey's Food Market in North Tonawanda will continue to pay union dues as a condition of their employment, following a vote on Thursday.

A proposal to drop that requirement from their labor contract failed to receive enough support to win approval. Regardless of the outcome, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1 would have continued to represent the store's workers.

The National Labor Relations Board said 33 workers voted to remove the requirement, while 27 voted to keep it intact. Two other ballots were challenged.

Turnout was a decisive factor, though. For the clause to be removed from the contract, a majority of eligible voters would have had to cast ballots in support of the idea. With 88 eligible voters at the store, the proposal needed at least 45 votes to win passage.

The NLRB routinely waits seven days before certifying results, to give either side a chance to file objections.

"Of course, we're happy with the outcome," said Angelo Vellake, UFCW's Buffalo area director. "We're looking forward to getting everyone on board again."

Vellake noted that new contract talks are scheduled to begin next spring, and said the union would "reach out" to the 33 employees who voted to remove the dues requirement.

The store's owner, Frank Budwey, could not be reached to comment. Budwey and the UFCW had clashed earlier this year, prompting the union to file unfair labor practice charges against Budwey that led to the postponement of a scheduled vote last March.


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