by RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum New York Amsterdam News Retail sales in the U.S. are already surging as holiday shoppers are checking their lists and buying their gifts for the 2021 holiday season. It’s important that consumers are returning to stores this holiday season, but we are also concerned about an alarming uptick in harassment and abuse directed at retail workers, especially this year. Retail workers in New York—including thousands of RWDSU members at stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, H&M, Zara, Guitar Center, and more—are eager to welcome customers back into stores this holiday season. However, workers are experiencing increased aggression and poor treatment from stressed out shoppers. It’s been a tough time for retail workers in the U.S. and across the globe. Besides the risks to the health of workers and their families that’s hung over retail during the entire pandemic, violence, abuse, and harassment on the job skyrocketed. Tensions rose as stores and governments instituted mask, social distancing, and other COVID safety protocols, and retail workers bore the brunt of customers’ anger, often fueled by misinformation and extreme political rhetoric. Workers were yelled at, spat upon, coughed on, and worse. Some workers have even been shot at—and some murdered—by irrational customers over mask and COVID restrictions. This type of behavior toward retail workers needs to end, and can’t simply be shrugged off as “part of the job.” We owe it to these retail workers—who have courageously served us throughout the darkest days of the pandemic—to make this a stress-free holiday season. Even in the best of times, the holiday season is very stressful for workers at retail stores and supermarkets. Big crowds, irritable customers, hectic days and the need for workers themselves to take care of their own holiday obligations can all weigh heavily on workers’ shoulders this time of year. In 2021, however, with the pandemic still a part of our lives, this stress could be exponentially worse. All of this is aggravated by a shortage of goods caused by supply chain problems this holiday season. Retail workers can become the target of shoppers’ frustration when customers hear that coveted holiday items are stuck on shipping containers at sea and have been backordered for months, especially if they’ve gone to multiple stores only to go home empty-handed. This holiday season, we need to treat retail workers with dignity and respect, and we must understand that our own stress and the problems we are experiencing shouldn’t be placed on the shoulders of working people. Workers are not to blame. Stores should provide security, safety protocols and training to handle problems that may arise. It’s a time to come together this holiday season and do everything we can to reduce stress and anxiety for each other, and especially retail workers. A little extra kindness and understanding will go a very long way this holiday season.
To All Local 3 RWDSU Members:2021 Open Enrollment Period for Health Insurance Coverage ends on May 27, 2021. Colleagues must re-enroll for benefits even if they wish to remain in their current insurance plan. To enroll contact the Colleague Support Center at 1-(800) 234-6229 (choose option #3), 8am-9pm ET. If you have any additional questions, please contact Local 3 at (212) 371-6230. In Solidarity,Cassandra A. Berrocal, President Shaun Kavanagh, Secretary Treasurer
Dear RWDSU Local 3 Members, We hope you are all doing well and are all safe and healthy. As you may know, The CDC has modified their recommendations to relax mandatory mask rules and New York State and NYC has now adopted those recommendations as well. This is very concerning to Local 3, along with other labor organizations, because it leaves the decision for customers to wear masks in the hands of the individual employers. Unfortunately, Bloomingdales has chosen to allow vaccinated customers to not wear masks but requires unvaccinated customers to wear masks. This policy does not put our members health and safety first because the mask wearing is now left to the honor system whether the customer is vaccinated or not. Wearing a mask is to keep others safe and by customers not wearing masks it puts our members at risk. Fortunately, we have recently negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement with language that addresses this issue if any of our members feel uncomfortable being with or in a close vicinity to unmasked customers. Please see the Article below that is in our current collective bargaining agreement. As always, if anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Local 3.Remember……. We are STRONGER TOGETHER!!!!Article XXIX, Section 20 In the event a colleague is uncomfortable with servicing a customer who is not wearing a mask, as per our established practice, the colleague should politely step away and contact the appropriate people leader for customer assistance such colleague will not be disciplined for politely stepping away and contacting the appropriate People Leader to service the customer. In Solidarity,Cassandra A. Berrocal, President Shaun Kavanagh, Secretary Treasurer
Dear Local 3 Members, Congratulations to all Local 3 RWDSU/UFCW members working at Bloomingdales on ratifying a new three year collective bargaining agreement. We would like to thank the Local Officers as well as the negotiating committee for their hard work and dedication. Always remember……we are STRONGER TOGETHER!!! Cassandra A Berrocal, President Shaun Kavanagh, Secretary Treasurer
LOCAL 3 CONTRACT RATIFICATION VOTE NOTICE GREAT NEWS! Local 3’s Officers and Executive Board/Bargaining Committee are proud to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with Bloomingdales/Macys Inc. This tentative agreement comes after months of very difficult and challenging negotiations during a very challenging and unprecedented time that we are going through not only in NYC but across this nation. We are happy to announce that we have been able to not only maintain what we currently enjoy within our contract, but we have made many improvements. This did not come easily but the committee remained steadfast and focused. The members of Local 3 will now have the opportunity to vote and ratify this agreement. Please see the voting information below. The Local 3 leadership and Executive Board/ Negotiating Committees strongly recommends that we vote YES for this agreement. Remember…We are STRONGER TOGETHER! Cassandra A Berrocal, President Shaun Kavanagh, Secretary TreasurerLocal 3 Executive Board/Negotiating Committee VOTING INFORMATION WHEN - WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2021 WHERE - Bloomingdales 9TH CONFERENCE ROOM TIME - 7AM, 9AM, 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, 5PM, 7PM
This will serve to notify you that the Local 3 Union Elections are scheduled for this year. Read the full notice below, click to enlarge.