Local 3 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU/UFCW) represents more than 2,000 sales clerks, shelf stockers and clerical workers at Bloomingdale’s flagship 59th Street store in New York City, with extended protection to workers at the Bloomingdale’s SoHo store.
Our union is dedicated to protecting Bloomingdale’s employees’ right to the fair wages and benefits that allow them to support themselves and their families, and our members have always been very involved in our struggles. We have fought for the right of Bloomingdale’s workers to be treated with the dignity and respect that acknowledges their vital role in the success of the Bloomindale’s department store.
Local 3 has been fighting for economic and social justice since its first contract with Bloomingdale’s in 1937. In 1965, our union held a successful 15-day strike. Local 3 has also been a strong pioneer for women’s rights. We were among the first unions to negotiate for maternity leave in 1950, years before New York State required it. In 1973, the union also won equal pay for women who sold designer clothing at Bloomingdale’s, causing their salaries to triple.
The spirit of solidarity that united retail workers of different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and religions in pursuit of a common goal back in the 1930s continues today. That spirit has made it possible for RWDSU Local 3 to negotiate contracts that provide Bloomindale’s employees with decent wages, job security, good medical, dental and pension benefits, and a voice in the creation of respectful, healthy and safe working conditions.
The struggle to protect retail workers is ongoing and it is at the heart of the mission of RWDSU Local 3.