Local 338 Helps Spread Holiday Cheer

Hempstead, New York — On November 14, 2017, Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW delivered 200 turkeys donated by Local 338 members to several food pantries and charitable organizations throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County as part of the union’s annual “Turkey Drive.” The donated turkeys will then be used to provide Thanksgiving meals or distributed directly to families in need who are served by these charities.    Donations from the “Turkey Drive” were made to The INN in Hempstead (Nassau County), food pantries based on the campuses of Suffolk County Community College and Nassau Community College, Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church in the Bronx, Project Hospitality on Staten Island, and The Sharing Community in Yonkers (Westchester County).   “We are incredibly grateful to Local 338 for their generous donation of turkeys for guests of The INN,” said Jean Kelly, Executive Director. “The holidays are a particularly difficult time for our fellow community members who are hungry. This donation allows our soup kitchen guests who do not come in for a meal to enjoy a Thanksgiving at home with their families. Each turkey will be distributed to a family in great need. On behalf of our guests, we thank you for your spirit of giving.”   “Helping those in need is central to our mission at Local 338 and we believe in doing what we can to support those less fortunate,” said John R. Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW. “Many families in the communities that we live and work in rely on local charities and food pantries to make ends meet and we are proud to make these donations to help them have a wonderful Thanksgiving.”

STATEMENT: Members in Nassau County Worked Tirelessly in Support Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman

  STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM Members in Nassau County Worked Tirelessly in Support Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman   NEW YORK, NY – Tonight, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) highlighted the work of RWDSU Locals 338 and 1102 on Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman races in Nassau County, Long Island. RWDSU members door-knocked and phone banked for the new Nassau County Executive and Comptroller throughout the fall and on Election Day to ensure candidates, who would advocate for union values, won tonight.   “Nassau County needs strong leaders who will fight to ensure that workers’ voices are heard and that every dollar is used diligently to help hard-working people across the county – Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman are those leaders. Members of RWDSU Locals 338 and 1102 have been working with Laura and Jack throughout their campaigns and we know that they will make Nassau’s communities fiscally healthy while providing much needed support to the services and programs that matter to our members – like early childhood programs, workforce development programs, and infrastructure projects that improve transportation in the county. Although the results haven’t been certified yet, the candidates have declared victory and we congratulate them tonight,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

NYC RWDSU Members Worked Tirelessly in Support of de Blasio, Winners in Key Races

STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM Members in NYC Worked Tirelessly in Support of Bill de Blasio’s Re-Election Campaign and in Key Council Races, Securing Wins for RWDSU Endorsed Candidates   NEW YORK, NY – Today, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) congratulated Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who won their re-election campaigns tonight as well as candidates in critical City Council races across the city. RWDSU door-knocked and phone banked for the union’s endorsed candidates throughout the fall and on Election Day to ensure candidates, who would advocate for union values, won tonight.   “We were the first to endorse Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign because we know in his second term he will continue to fight for working people throughout the city, just as he always has. Mark Gjonaj, Elizabeth Crowley, Margaret Chin and Justin Brannan had hard fought general elections and we are still awaiting the results for Elizabeth and Justin. Our endorsed candidates know what hard working families need in New York City to live and work here – and we know they will work closely with us to protect our city's working women and men. Congratulations to all the candidates and winners especially our new City Council members Mark Gjonaj, Francisco Moya, Keith Powers, Diana Ayala, Alicka Ampry-Samuels, Carlina Rivera, Adrienne Adams and Kalman Yager. We look forward to working together on issues that affect our members and low income New Yorkers,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU).

RWDSU Members Help Deliver Win For Murphy in NJ

  STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM RWDSU Members Help Deliver Gubernatorial Win for Phil Murphy in New Jersey – a Real Voice for Workers Across the State NEWARK, NJ – Today, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) congratulated the work of members of RWDSU Local 108 and Local 262 in New Jersey whose tireless efforts helped ensured victory tonight for Phil Murphy for Governor and Sheila Oliver for Lieutenant Governor in New Jersey. RWDSU members door-knocked, mailed and phone banked for the union’s endorsed candidates across the state throughout the fall and on Election Day to ensure candidates, who would advocate for union values, won tonight. “Phil Murphy and Sheila Oliver are elected officials who will work for the people, and we are proud to have been an integral part of their win tonight,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Phil and Sheila have put forth a plan to help workers that will ensure they have a voice not just in Trenton but across New Jersey. They have pledged to create new good paying jobs with strong labor standards, to establish a child care tax credit and close tax loopholes for the rich, and to raise the minimum wage to $15. But perhaps even more critical – they will oppose any effort to turn New Jersey into a right-to-work state. I am proud of the work our members at Local 108 & Local 262 have done and we look forward to working with Phil and Sheila in their new roles as Governor and Lieutenant Governor.”

Six-State Conference Brings Workers Together

  On November 4-5, RWDSU members from Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia came together in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the annual Six-State Conference. It was the largest such meeting in many years, attracting over 160 members, many of them shop stewards and many of them first-time attendees, for important training to help them serve fellow members. In addition to a steward training course, which focused on handling grievances and duty of representation responsibilities, there were sessions dedicated to workplace health and safety and also political action and involvement. Officers and representatives from throughout the RWDSU were also on hand for a special tribute to retired RWDSU Regional Director Randy Belliel, who was honored for his dedication to the members of the RWDSU throughout his 40-year career of union activism in the Midwest. "This is a special organization where everyone from the top on down fights to make lives better for working people, and I am proud to have spent my life working with everyone here," Belliel said.  

NY Times: How de Blasio Overcame the Haters

A New York Times article details how NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio - buoyed by early support of unions like the RWDSU - is cruising toward re-election. read it here

RWDSU Becomes First Union to Join JustleadershipUSA’s @CloseRikers Coalition

Today, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced the union will join JustLeadershipUSA’s #CLOSErikers coalition, making RWDSU the first union to support the long overdue closure of the violent and corrupt jails on Rikers Island. RWDSU has been on the front lines of several historic civil rights and political battles and criminal justice reform is no different – and as a #CLOSErikers coalition member RWDSU will be a forceful voice for the long overdue closure of this violent facility.   “For far too long Rikers Island has been a point of no return for so many young people. Their days, weeks, months and sometime years of violent and needless detention there irreparably changes the course of their lives forever – it’s a place that needs to close and we need to take the money wasted there and reinvest it in local communities,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “No one should be detained in a facility like Rikers and we should work to build programs that reduce incarceration instead of building facilities that foster violence like the jails on Rikers Island. The RWDSU is joining JustLeadershipUSA’s #CLOSErikers coalition to actively change the criminal justice system and reduce crime and incarceration by helping people earn fair wages and build communities that offer real opportunities and meaningful alternatives to incarceration.”   Continue reading

At ManorCare, Labor Dispute Lingers

Standing down the road from the Salisbury Township adult care facility where she has worked for the past four years, Ruth Santamaria donned a red union cap, clutched a megaphone and gripped a sign that read, “Every day is Halloween at ManorCare. They suck workers’ blood.” Santamaria was among several employees who joined representatives from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union — the union HCR ManorCare workers voted to join — at a rally Tuesday afternoon at the busy intersection of Cedar Crest Boulevard and Fish Hatchery Road, a football field from HCR ManorCare at 1265 S. Cedar Crest Blvd. read more about it at The Morning Call

Local 108 Announces New Jersey Endorsement Slate

(NEWARK, NJ) – Today, President Charles N. Hall Jr. of Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), announced the union’s endorsements of the re-election of State Senator Stephen Sweeney, Elliot Isibor for State Senate, Anthony Romano for Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor, Ted Green for East Orange Mayor, and Bergson Leneus for East Orange City Council. Hall announced the union will put the full force of its 10,000 members across New Jersey behind these campaigns, to ensure their victories on November 7, 2017. The RWDSU previously endorsed Phil Murphy for Governor and Sheila Oliver for Lieutenant Governor, this slate of endorsed candidates represents the change we need in New Jersey.   Stephen Sweeney re-election for State Senate: “Senator Sweeney has led the fight to increase the minimum wage in New Jersey, and has been a fierce advocate for family and disability leave. For all of these reasons we are putting our full support behind his re-election campaign and we look forward to continue working with him on critical legislation that helps working people across New Jersey,” said Charles N. Hall Jr., President Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).   Elliot Isibor for State Senate: “Ellior Isibor is the real change we need in our State Senate – and we are proud to support his campaign to fix our pension system, create real budget reforms and worker training programs across the state,” said Charles N. Hall Jr., President Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Elliot has pledged to work with our members in Morris, Essex and Passaic County to ensure good union jobs are created and supported in the communities that need them the most and our members are already encouraging their neighbors to get out and vote.”   Anthony Romano for Hoboken Mayor: “Hoboken needs a mayor who will put working people first – Anthony Romano will be that Mayor,” said Charles N. Hall Jr., President Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Anthony is a third generation Hoboken resident, he has served as a police officer and as a teacher in our community – he knows the importance of unions first hand and he knows the needs of working people in Hoboken. We are proud to announce our endorsement of his campaign for mayor today. Our members, many of whom live and work in the City of Hoboken, serve in critical part-time positions across the city, from crossing guards, to parking enforcement officers, to shuttle bus drivers, to court attendants and sanitation workers – we are encouraging our members to support him on the ground and look forward to working with him as mayor.”   Ted Green for East Orange Mayor: “As City Council Chairman Ted Green has been serving his community for over 25 years – and today we are proud to stand behind him in his bid for Mayor of East Orange,” said Charles N. Hall Jr., President Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Ted has lead the fight for legislation and programs that protect homeowners from foreclosure, create job training and apprenticeship programming, and promotes criminal justice reform. His work has had a direct impact on our members and now we will have a direct impact on his campaign.”   Bergson Leneus for East Orange City Council: “The East Orange City Council passes critical legislation that helps our members – and we know Bergson Leneus will work with our members to write bills that will help our members live, work and thrive in East Orange,” said Charles N. Hall Jr., President Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “We’re ready to get to work on Bergson’s campaign and hit the doors.”

Pres. Appelbaum Confirmed as Co-Chair of DNC Resolutions Committee

On Saturday, October 21, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) was confirmed by a vote of the full Democratic National Committee (DNC) as co-chair of the resolutions committee along with Lottie Shackelford. The resolutions committee helps set the policy agenda for the Democratic Party. Appelbaum, who is also a member of the DNC executive committee, served on the resolutions committee prior to his appointment as co-chair. “I was honored to be nominated by DNC Chair Tom Perez to this important position. Despite the divisive and empty rhetoric from Donald Trump, the Democratic Party remains the political voice for the hopes and aspirations of our nation’s working people,” Appelbaum said.