Housing Works employees join RWDSU

Housing Works employees gave themselves a late Christmas present last week.

Employees at Housing Works, in a vote of 88% to 12%, agreed to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) after two years of organizing efforts.

The vote was conducted via mail-in ballots that were sent to the Labor Board on Dec. 14.

The union will now represent all 605 Housing Works employees in the five boroughs and help negotiate a contract with Housing Works this year. Workers at the bargaining table will reportedly deal with all issues involving health care, retail, social work and legal.

Workers hope that their affiliation with RWDSU will help them fix issues that have exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve complained about long hours and low wages at the organizations’ thrift stores and bookshops around the city citing an average pay of $16 an hour during 16-hour days and six-day weeks.

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