FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2022
Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259
NEW RWDSU MEMBERS AT GREENLIGHT BOOKSTORES AND YOURS TRULY STATIONERY STORES RATIFY STRONG FIRST CONTRACT
(BROOKLYN, NY) – Late Wednesday night, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced that members at three Greenlight Bookstore and Yours Truly stationery, Brooklyn, New York locations have unanimously ratified their first union contract after joining the union in August 2021.
“I am proud of all the work and consideration that we put into organizing our workplace and negotiating our first contract. And I’m excited that we are part of a wave of bookstore workers organizing across the country to improve their working conditions. Our organizing efforts began because we wanted to create a safer and more equitable workplace, especially for the many BIPOC employees hired as frontline booksellers during the pandemic. Our first contract does just that, increasing the base pay for new hires, scheduling annual wage increases, and providing health insurance options that will put money back in workers’ pockets. Bookselling is an industry driven by part-time labor, with so many workers juggling multiple jobs but receiving no benefits. In an economy where part-timers rarely receive any sort of healthcare benefits, I’m proud that we were able to secure an ancillary plan. Importantly, we established transparent procedures for discipline, channels for grievances, and a Labor Management Committee that will continue improving our workplace. We’ve put a lot of care into building our union, and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my co-workers to improve our working conditions,” said Maritza Montañez, Greenlight Bookstore worker and member of the bargaining committee.
“When workers can count on the job security that only comes from a union contract they can truly excel at their jobs. The experienced book and stationery sellers at Greenlight and Yours Truly are committed to their customers and now people can shop there knowing they’re supporting good union jobs. The worker-led bargaining committee negotiated a strong first contract that will help them tremendously,” said Alvin Ramnarain, President Local 1102 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
“We are proud of these new RWDSU members who have negotiated and ratified a strong first contract. The provisions these workers have won in this contract will make working at Greenlight Bookstore sustainable for full-time and part-time workers alike. Brooklynites can shop at their neighborhood bookstore knowing that workers are well taken care of by union members. This contract proves yet again that working people are better off when they have a union,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
The vote to ratify the contract was conducted virtually on the evening of Wednesday, March 30, 2022. RWDSU Local 1102 represents approximately 40 workers at Greenlight Bookstore and Yours Truly, Brooklyn locations in Brooklyn, New York. The workers in the bargaining unit handle sales, stocking and information services in the stores.
Union contract provisions include:
- An increase in the minimum hiring rate
- Annual wage increases amounting to 9% over three years
- Paid time off
- Paid holidays
- A gold healthcare plan for full-time workers, offering a lower deductible with more coverage than their previous plan
- A new ancillary Care Plan providing both full-time and part-time workers with telecare, vision insurance, and dental insurance
The RWDSU also represents workers at book and stationery stores across New York City including McNally Jackson, Goods for the Study, and Book Culture.
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The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). For more information, please visit our website at www.rwdsu.org, Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW Twitter:@RWDSU.