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HADLEY — Employees at Trader Joe’s in Hadley have become the chain’s first store to approve a labor union. The union vote passed 45-31.

“This victory is historic, but not a surprise. Since the moment we announced our campaign, a majority of the crew have enthusiastically supported our union, and despite the company’s best efforts to bust us, our majority has never wavered,” Trader Joe’s United said in a statement.

“We are incredibly proud of the work we have done together to win this union election, but winning is just the beginning,” the union continued. “We now begin the difficult work of sitting down at the negotiating table as equals with our employer and securing a contract that will benefit and protect us, the crew, instead of the company’s bottom line.

“Our contract will not just benefit us,” Trader Joe’s United added. “We believe that our union, by improving our store and every store across the country, will strengthen Trader Joe’s as a whole and help the company return to its core values, the first of which is integrity.”