WORKERS PARTY OF MASSACHUSETTS
MEDIA ADVISORY JULY 15, 2022
WORKERS PARTY OF MASSACHUSETTS CANDIDATE FOR AUDITOR FILES CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT AGAINST TRADER JOE’S
Alleges Interference with the Right to Gather Signatures in Public Areas of Shopping Centers
Workers Party of Massachusetts candidate for Auditor, Dominic Giannone III, has filed a civil rights complaint with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's office alleging that Trader Joe's CEO Dan Bane interfered with the candidate's right to gather signatures for nomination papers in public areas of privately-owned shopping centers.
The Massachusetts Constitution protects the right to solicit signatures for nomination papers in the common areas of privately-owned shopping centers. Giannone and other members of the Workers Party of Massachusetts have gathered thousands of signatures at grocery stores during this campaign.
"The Trader Joe's in the Hingham Shipyard has been one of the best locations to gather signatures" Giannone said. "In addition to being a busy location with customers from many communities it is also my neighborhood grocery store and should be a place where my campaign can interact with my community without illegal interference."
On July 14, while Giannone was gathering signatures in a reasonable and unobtrusive manner outside of Trader Joe's in the Hingham Shipyard shopping center he was approached by a man who identified himself as company CEO Dan Bane. Bane told Giannone he "couldn't be there" and accused the candidate of "harassing every customer walking into the store" and blocking access to the door. Giannone claims he was simply saying "good afternoon" and introducing himself as a candidate while standing exactly where management had previously instructed him to stand on numerous occasions.
It isn't clear why CEO Dan Bane was at the Hingham Trader Joe's location but employees who wish to remain anonymous suggest that he is in the area in response to unionization efforts by workers in Massachusetts. Giannone believes that the sight of a working class candidate who supports the labor movement angered Bane, causing him to illegally interfere with the gathering of signatures.
The Giannone campaign has notified the management of Trader Joe's that members and supporters of the Workers Party of Massachusetts will return to the Hingham Shipyard location to gather signatures this Saturday from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. If prevented from doing so we will be prepared to picket this location and seek further legal action.