AMAZON ILLEGALLY INTERFERED IN UNION VOTE – RWDSU TO FILE OBJECTIONS AND RELATED ULP CHARGES TO HOLD AMAZON ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 AMAZON ILLEGALLY INTERFERED IN UNION VOTE – RWDSU TO FILE OBJECTIONS AND RELATED ULP CHARGES TO HOLD AMAZON ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS Union to File Objections and Unfair Labor Practice Charges Implicating Amazon (NEW YORK, NY) – Today, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced it is filing Objections to the conduct of the Election and related Unfair Labor Practice charges (ULPs) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charging that Amazon interfered with the right of its Bessemer, Alabama employees to vote in a free and fair election; a right protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. The RWDSU will request that the NLRB Regional Director schedule a hearing on its objections to determine if the results of the election should be set aside because conduct by the employer created an atmosphere of confusion, coercion and/or fear of reprisals and thus interfered with the employees' freedom of choice. The RWDSU will also present evidence to the Regional Director supporting the issuance of a ULP complaint against Amazon for unlawfully interfering with the protected right of employees to engage in union activity. Workers fighting for a voice and fair treatment in the workplace will now await the results of these hearings on the objections to determine the final outcome of their union vote. After enduring an intensive anti-union campaign designed by Amazon to intimidate and manipulate, workers are seeking the chance to finally have a right to fair representation, a seat at the table and a real chance to fix the litany of issues that workers at Amazon have faced for far too long. Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following statement on the objections and related charges the union is filing: “Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gaslight its own employees. We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote. Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union. That’s why they required all their employees to attend lecture after lecture, filled with mistruths and lies, where workers had to listen to the company demand they oppose the union. That’s why they flooded the internet, the airwaves and social media with ads spreading misinformation. That’s why they brought in dozens of outsiders and union-busters to walk the floor of the warehouse. That’s why they bombarded people with signs throughout the facility and with text messages and calls at home. And that’s why they have been lying about union dues in a right to work state. Amazon’s conduct has been despicable. "Worst yet, even though the NLRB definitively denied Amazon's request for a drop box on the warehouse property, Amazon felt it was above the law and worked with the postal service anyway to install one. They did this because it provided a clear ability to intimidate workers. “We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon's behavior in corrupting this election. “Working people deserve better than the way Amazon has conducted itself during this campaign. This campaign has proven that the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is to join together in a union. However, Amazon’s behavior during the election cannot be ignored and our union will seek remedy to each and every improper action Amazon took. We won’t rest until workers' voices are heard fairly under the law. When they are, we believe they will be victorious in this historic and critical fight to unionize the first Amazon warehouse in the United States.” # # # 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.
City employees in Connersville, Indiana, have ratified new four-year contracts. Street, park, and sanitation department workers won a new paid holiday, Juneteenth, commemorating June 19, 1865, when the last slaves in the U.S. were freed. Members will see a 3 percent wage increase in the first year of the contract, and there will be wage re-openers in each of the remaining years of the agreement. The new agreement also includes a 25 cent per hour increase for employees with a CDL, and improvements in seniority, holidays, and vacation language, and it protects the employees’ union health insurance coverage for the life of the pact. The Local 512 members maintain the city’s streets and parks, and pick up trash in the Connersville. The Union's Bargaining Committee was Christopher Geise, Melody Steele and Peter Shonfeld. They were assisted by Indiana Joint Board President Eric Schwartz. The Connersville paramedics and EMTs unit’s new agreement includes language improvements in the areas of seniority, staffing, funeral Leave, holidays, and sick days, and it maintains the employees’ union health insurance coverage for the life of the pact. There is a first-year annual salary increase of almost $1,000 dollars for E.M.T.s. and a $2,400 increase for paramedics, with a wage reopener in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year. The new contract also includes more money for certain certifications. Serving on the negotiating committee were Larry Swhier, Scott Brown and Misha Gibson. They were assisted by Indiana Joint Board President Eric Schwartz.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AFL-CIO CONTACT: John Weber, 202-637-5018 or [email protected] RWDSU CONTACT: Chelsea Connor, 347-866-6259 or [email protected] (Washington, D.C., April 5, 2021)—Today, the AFL-CIO and GBAO released a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The findings come days after voting closed in the organizing drive and demonstrate a significant rise in public support. In February, Data for Progress found that 69% of likely voters supported the unionization effort. “In every corner of the country, working people are crying out for change,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We aren’t just bearing the brunt of this pandemic. For decades, we’ve been bled dry by a rigged, corporate-first economy. Amazon workers in Bessemer are tearing down that system, and America is standing with them.” “This is what solidarity looks like,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “America is standing shoulder to shoulder with Amazon workers in Bessemer. People across the country and of all backgrounds recognize the systematic injustice that Amazon is inflicting on its own workers. This fight is universal—it’s a struggle for the fundamental rights and dignities that all working people deserve.” The nationwide poll surveyed 600 registered voters from March 28–30. The survey carries a margin of error of +/-4.0 percentage points. Results are available below. Q: As you may know, some workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are proposing to form a union to negotiate with the company on working conditions. Do you support or oppose these Amazon workers forming a union to negotiate on working conditions? Overall Party ID SUPPORT: 77% DEM SUPPORT: 96% OPPOSE: 16% IND SUPPORT: 79% REP SUPPORT: 55% ###
Local 1102 members at 970 Kent Condominium in Brooklyn, New York, recently secured a new contract that improves wages and benefits for the building services workers. The contract brings annual wage benefits for all members, and It also provides improved contributions from the employer to ensure affordability for member health insurance plans. In addition, the membership will benefit from increased contributions to retirement plans thanks to the new contract. For these members, their strong new agreement recognizes their contributions as essential workers during the pandemic. They’ve been there to serve residents at the building throughout the entire COIVD-19 crisis, and will continue their important work with an improved contract.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2021 RWDSU Contact: Chelsea Connor, [email protected], 347-866-6259 Local 338 RWDSU Contact: Nikki Kateman, [email protected], 347-668-2860 HISTORIC CANNABIS LEGALIZATION VOTE PASSES NY LEGISLATURE Will Provide Opportunity for Working People (NEW YORK, NY) – Today, the New York legislature passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which would legalize adult-use cannabis in New York. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents workers in the medical cannabis industry across New York State. Stuart Appelbaum, President of the RWDSU and John Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU issued the following statements: Stuart Appelbaum, President of RWDSU, said: “Today, in passing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, the New York State legislature took enormous strides toward ending the decades-long war on drugs and its discriminatory impact on people of color. The legislature listened to calls by workers and advocates to create an industry centered on equity. From the creation of a social equity fund, to requiring labor peace for cannabis license holders, this places New York on the forefront of social equity nationally. We thank the legislature for prioritizing the needs of workers and the community and look forward to swift signature into law.” John R. Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, said: “Local 338, New York’s cannabis union, has organized almost 500 workers in the medical cannabis industry in New York, setting standards across the industry that benefit workers and their families. Our contracts in the medical cannabis industry have established full-time careers with family-sustaining wages, affordable and quality health care, workplace health and safety standards, funding for retirement and more. It is our priority that the 30,000-60,000 jobs created in our State’s adult use industry meet the same standard as those in the medical cannabis industry. The MRTA, will help to do just that, by ensuring access to opportunity at every level of this brand-new industry, including for the thousands of New Yorkers who will be entering it as workers. We commend the work of the New York Senate and Assembly on passage of this critical bill today and look forward to it being signed by Governor Cuomo.” # # # 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). Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW proudly represents approximately 13,000 working men and women employed in a variety of different industries across New York State including, food retail, pharmaceutical retail, health care and human services, transportation, and medical cannabis. For more information, please visit our websites at www.rwdsu.org or www.local338.org Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW or /Local338 Twitter:@RWDSU or @Local338
STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM ON SOLIDARITY WITH STRIKING AMAZON WORKERS IN GERMANY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 (NEW YORK, NY) – Tomorrow, workers in Germany will go on strike at Amazon facilities in their own country. This comes less than a week after workers in Italy launched a successful national strike at their own Amazon facilities. These strikes, just like the workers’ push to form a union in Alabama, center on working conditions, fair treatment, respect and better pay as the company amasses billions during the global pandemic. Amazon fulfillment center workers in Bessemer, Alabama, whose vote to form a union with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) concludes tonight, join in solidarity with their sisters and brothers throughout the world who are standing up to Amazon. Stuart Appelbaum, President of the RWDSU, which is conducting the unionization drive for the workers at the Amazon fulfillment center issued the following statement: “It’s not just workers in Alabama, it’s workers everywhere who are saying to Jeff Bezos that enough is enough. No matter what language they speak, Amazon workers around the globe will not stand for the working conditions they’ve been forced to endure for too long. Last week it was Italian workers, this week German workers, as the union vote count gets underway tomorrow for Alabama workers. What unites them all are the unacceptable working conditions at Amazon facilities everywhere. The Bessemer, Alabama Amazon workers stand in solidarity with Amazon workers in Germany and throughout the world who are standing up and fighting for the dignity and respect they deserve.” # # # 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.
The RWDSU membership at Bloomsburg Care & Rehabilitation Center in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania keeps growing, thanks to word of mouth and the hard work of RWDSU organizers. The maintenance unit at the facility joined RWDSU Local 262 in January, after seeing the difference union membership has made in the lives of the Certified Nursing Assistants there after they joined in 2019. Workers saw the difference the union made during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the RWDSU ensuring workers received hazard pay and proper PPE and bringing them a voice on the job. The maintenance workers saw the difference and wanted to become a part of the union. The new members are already seeing the benefits of RWDSU membership, as they are now working under their first union contract. Maintenance workers will see raises of 4.5 percent, and are covered under the Local 262 medical plan.
RWDSU members in Salem, Ohio, have ratified a new four-year contract that brings numerous improvements and protects the health insurance plan. The progression has been greatly decreased from five years to only 18 months, meaning members can reach the full pay rate three and a half years earlier. There are annual wage raises in the contract, and a shift differential that will bring an extra $.25 an hour for the second shift and an extra $1.50 per hour for the third. Newly added benefits include a longevity raise for senior employees, and an extra week of paid vacation for all members. Maintenance workers will earn more money after completing training classes, and there are increases in the company 401K match and an extra $150 shoe allowance for warehouse workers. The Negotiating Committee consisted of of Bruce Fatherly, Amy Ray, Melody Alflen, Mike Scorich, Chris Graffius, Janice Cusick and and Marland Billiter, with assistance from RWDSU Rep. Fred Jimenez. “This was the first time any of these members served on a Negotiating Committee, and they all did a tremendous job bringing home a fantastic new contract at Fresh Mark,” Jimenez said.
After a long, difficult battle with management for their first union contract, RWDSU Local 262 members at Bloomsburg Care & Rehabilitation Center in Pennsylvania have won numerous improvements. The new contract includes improved starting minimum rates, annual raises, inclusion in the union medical plan, and secured paid time off and improved job security. The contract addressed many of the issues the workers had when they won their campaign to join the RWDSU in May, 2020. The 90 workers at the facility now have a strong first contract to go along with the security and voice on the job they won with their union membership. “I am extremely proud of these members. Through patience and perseverance we achieved a really strong first contract that provides a solid foundation for contracts to come,” said Local 262 RWDSU President, Daniel Righetti. The BCRC employees fought hard for a settlement that shows respect for the important work they do to care for their residents, and a strong, outspoken negotiating committee made the difference. “The BCRC employees united as a cohesive team, remained stronger together and were victorious. I’m very proud to have worked and be a part of this team.” said Local 262 RWDSU Business Agent Danielle Albano.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 12, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 (NEW YORK, NY) – This morning, Senator Marco Rubio announced his support for Amazon fulfillment center workers in Bessemer, Alabama who are voting to form a union with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Stuart Appelbaum, President of the RWDSU, which is conducting the unionization drive for the workers at the Amazon fulfillment center issued the following statement: “We welcome support from all quarters. Senator Rubio's support demonstrates that the best way for working people to achieve dignity and respect in the workplace is through unionization. This should not be a partisan issue.” # # # 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.