RETAIL, WHOLESALE AND DEPARTMENT STORE UNION ENDORSES KATHY HOCHUL FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2022 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 RETAIL, WHOLESALE AND DEPARTMENT STORE UNION ENDORSES KATHY HOCHUL FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK (NEW YORK, NY) – Today, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced its endorsement of New York Governor, Kathy Hochul. The RWDSU represents approximately 45,000 workers in New York State in a wide range of industries including retail, grocery, pharmacy, food service, food processing, cannabis, warehousing, nursing homes, non-profits and agriculture – representing New York’s first ever unionized farmworkers. “Governor Kathy Hochul recognizes that workplace safety must be prioritized amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and she is deeply committed to advocating for our members – many of whom are essential workers on the front lines in the COVID-19 crisis. Upon taking office in late August, Governor Hochul acted swiftly to implement profound safety protections for our members under the NY Hero Act. She has a proven track record as a strong and smart leader with a steady hand. She has taken on the unemployment crisis many of our members face and created funds to help our members in the tourism industry, which include our members who work in airline catering. She has looked to support workers seeking to unionize in both new and emerging industries like adult-use cannabis and historically excluded farmworkers. Governor Hochul has already shown us that workers will have a seat at the table in her administration – and Kathy has our full support as she seeks to continue her work as Governor of New York,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).  “I am humbled and honored to receive this endorsement from the hardworking members of the RWDSU who have kept us safe, fed and healthy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “The RWDSU has been a strong advocate for the needs and rights of its members. RWDSU members provide critical services to us as we continue to weather the pandemic, from retail, grocery and pharmacy workers, to health aids and social workers at non-profits and in nursing homes, to food processing workers that produce the food on our dinner tables – they are there. New York is at its best when organized labor has a seat at the table and when we ensure our workers are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. I look forward to RWDSU's continued partnership in delivering the strongest pro-worker agenda in the nation.” # # # 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.  

New Pact for Pepsi Workers in Massachusetts

RWDSU Local 513 members in Canton, Massachusetts, have ratified a new contract with their employer, Pepsi. Over 100 RWDSU members there will see significant wage increases – up to $3 per hour for some classifications – over the course of the four-year agreement. The New England Joint Board members, who serve as warehouse workers and route drivers/merchandisers throughout the Boston area, will also see their health care protected at no cost to themselves. The health care benefits have also expanded, with a new telehealth/virtual visit benefit being added to the plan. “This is a great contract we can all be proud of,” said Pepsi employee Paul Cronin. “The pandemic has been a challenge, with much of the college and restaurant business affected, but we’ve kept the plant working throughout the entire time. Now, hopefully coming out of the pandemic, we are doing so with a strong contract that we won together.”

Strong New Contract in Ohio for Fresh Mark Employees

RWDSU members at Fresh Mark in Massillon, Ohio, and at Fresh Mark cold storage ratified a new three-year contract that brings numerous improvements to 450 RWDSU members employed in food processing and cold storage there. The new agreement, which was overwhelmingly ratified, adds a fifth week of paid vacation, and also includes significant annual wage increases including six percent the first year. Members with 10 years of service or more get vacation pay of 3 percent of their last year’s total earnings, marking a 50 percent increase over the previous benefit. Workers in progression went from five years to 18 months, which means they will earn Base Labor Wage much earlier. Maintenance workers will earn an additional 60 cents an hour with approved classes on top of their normal wage improvements. The contract also changes paychecks to weekly from bi-weekly, increases sick and accident benefits, increases the company’s 401K match, and increases the night shift differential from 25 cents all the way to $1.50 an hour. Serving on the Negotiating Committee were James Danzy, Juan Moscoso, Kristina Hoffner, Andrew Borntrager, JP Munford, and RWDSU Representative Fred Jimenez. RWDSU members at Fresh Mark produce bacon, ham, dry sausage, hot dogs and lunch meats.

HEALTH CARE WORKERS NEED MANDATORY OSHA PROTECTIONS FROM COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2021 RWDSU Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 AFL-CIO Contact: Tim Schlittner | [email protected] | 202-637-5018 HEALTH CARE WORKERS NEED MANDATORY OSHA PROTECTIONS FROM COVID-19 The AFL-CIO; the American Federation of Teachers; National Nurses United; AFSCME; the United Food and Commercial Workers; the United Steelworkers; the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW; and SEIU issued the following statement on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) removing the COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) for health care workers: First and foremost, we strongly disagree with the Biden administration’s decision to discontinue the enforceable OSHA ETS for health care workers. With the omicron variant surging and no permanent standard in place, our front-line heroes are in grave danger of COVID-19 infection. Workplace COVID-19 outbreaks are exploding; recent data show the number of infections doubled and deaths nearly quadrupled among nursing home workers alone. The ETS made clear to health care employers that proven prevention measures limiting airborne exposures to COVID-19 are absolutely necessary and would be fully enforced to keep workers from getting sick and being removed from work. These include improved ventilation, patient screening and respirators, and providing paid leave when workers are infected and must quarantine. Our message to every employer is this: While vaccines and boosters help prevent serious disease and death, COVID-19 is life-threatening, especially to healthcare and medical workers, and all proven protective measures must remain in place. The administration’s pursuit of a broader infectious disease standard, something we’ve championed for years, will empower us to fight the next pandemic. But to protect workers now, we need to build on the emergency COVID-19 standard by making it permanent, not scrapping it altogether. # # # 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.

STATEMENT ON AMAZON WAREHOUSE COLLAPSE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259  STATEMENT ON AMAZON WAREHOUSE COLLAPSE “Time and time again Amazon puts its bottom line above the lives of its employees. Requiring workers to work through such a major tornado warning event as this was inexcusable. At least two workers will never be going home to their families, and countless others continue to be trapped beneath the rubble of the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. This is another outrageous example of the company putting profits over the health and safety of their workers, and we cannot stand for this. Amazon cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people's lives at risk. Our union will not back down until Amazon is held accountable for these and so many more dangerous labor practices,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). # # # 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.

STATEMENT ON GOV. HOCHUL ACTION TO ADDRESS WINTER COVID-19 SURGE FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259  STATEMENT ON GOV. HOCHUL ACTION TO ADDRESS WINTER COVID-19 SURGE FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM “The safety of workers, customers and all New Yorkers is our primary concern as the winter COVID-19 surge is upon us. Grocery, pharmacy and retail workers are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 because they have public-facing jobs. And many are essential workers at stores we have relied on throughout the pandemic. They are in contact with hundreds of people every day – and in some places, workers may be in contact with more than a thousand people a day. Today’s announcement by Governor Hochul will help keep our members safe as well as the general public. We support these measures, and we know they will save lives.”  “We urge employers to responsibly enforce mask policies in coordination with State Government authorities. Let us be clear, it is the employers' responsibility - and not that of their workers - to tell people to leave a store if they are not wearing face masks.” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). # # # 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.

RETAIL, WHOLESALE AND DEPARTMENT STORE UNION ENDORSES STACEY ABRAMS FOR GEORGIA GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 RETAIL, WHOLESALE AND DEPARTMENT STORE UNION ENDORSES STACEY ABRAMS FOR GEORGIA GOVERNOR RWDSU Helped Deliver Critical Primary Win for Stacey Abrams in Georgia in 2018 –  Plans to Bolster Campaign with Members’ Support in 2022 Bid (ATLANTA, GA) – Tonight, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) endorsed Stacey Abrams for Governor. The RWDSU was an early and strong supporter of Stacey Abrams’ 2018 campaign, mobilizing members throughout the state to back her groundbreaking campaign that put economic justice, fair wages and opportunities for all Georgians at the forefront. The RWDSU’s Southeast Council includes 10,000 members, many of whom door-knocked, rallied, and phone banked in support of Abrams’ 2018 bid, and she will have the union’s full support again in this election. “Stacey Abrams is a trail-blazing leader who will transform Georgia for the better. Her advocacy work, strength of character and sense of justice are an inspiration for the entire country and Georgia will be stronger the day that she becomes Governor,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Stacey Abrams has never backed away from standing up for workers and the right to collectively organize. Whether it was standing with workers seeking to organize their first union with the RWDSU at Nestle, workers standing up to Amazon in Bessemer, or campaigning to win a pro-worker majority in the US Senate, Stacey Abrams was there. The RWDSU was proud to stand side-by-side with Stacey in 2018 and we are excited to be doing the same again to make sure she becomes Governor of Georgia in 2022.” “Stacey Abrams is the voice of the working person we need, she is the voice for everyone in Georgia, especially rural Georgia where too many of our members' issues often go unheard. She is a leader in every sense of the word, and she is the exact person Georgia needs to lead the state at this moment in time,” said Edgar Fields, President of the Southeast Council of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU). “We were proud to endorse her four years ago because we recognized these qualities, which have only grown as she has become a national leader on voting rights and racial justice. For a long time, Georgia’s government told corporations to set up shop here because there are no unions. They were wrong, unions have built up Georgia and Stacey knows that strong unions mean a strong economy for Georgia. RWDSU members throughout the state are ready to get to work to make sure Stacey Abrams wins in 2022.”   RWDSU Members in Georgia in 2018 on the campaign trail with Stacey Abrams, RWDSU Southeast Council President Edgar Fields and RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. # # # The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States, including 10,000 men and women represented by the Southeast Council. 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.  

No room for harassment and violence in our retail stores

By RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum Amsterdam News Retail sales in the U.S. are already surging as holiday shoppers are checking their lists and buying their gifts for the 2021 holiday season. It’s important that consumers are returning to stores this holiday season, but we are also concerned about an alarming uptick in harassment and abuse directed at retail workers, especially this year. Retail workers in New York—including thousands of RWDSU members at stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, H&M, Zara, Guitar Center, and more—are eager to welcome customers back into stores this holiday season. However, workers are experiencing increased aggression and poor treatment from stressed out shoppers. It’s been a tough time for retail workers in the U.S. and across the globe. Besides the risks to the health of workers and their families that’s hung over retail during the entire pandemic, violence, abuse, and harassment on the job skyrocketed. Tensions rose as stores and governments instituted mask, social distancing, and other COVID safety protocols, and retail workers bore the brunt of customers’ anger, often fueled by misinformation and extreme political rhetoric. Workers were yelled at, spat upon, coughed on, and worse. Some workers have even been shot at—and some murdered—by irrational customers over mask and COVID restrictions. This type of behavior toward retail workers needs to end, and can’t simply be shrugged off as “part of the job.” We owe it to these retail workers—who have courageously served us throughout the darkest days of the pandemic—to make this a stress-free holiday season. Even in the best of times, the holiday season is very stressful for workers at retail stores and supermarkets. Big crowds, irritable customers, hectic days and the need for workers themselves to take care of their own holiday obligations can all weigh heavily on workers’ shoulders this time of year. In 2021, however, with the pandemic still a part of our lives, this stress could be exponentially worse. All of this is aggravated by a shortage of goods caused by supply chain problems this holiday season. Retail workers can become the target of shoppers’ frustration when customers hear that coveted holiday items are stuck on shipping containers at sea and have been backordered for months, especially if they’ve gone to multiple stores only to go home empty-handed. This holiday season, we need to treat retail workers with dignity and respect, and we must understand that our own stress and the problems we are experiencing shouldn’t be placed on the shoulders of working people. Workers are not to blame. Stores should provide security, safety protocols and training to handle problems that may arise. It’s a time to come together this holiday season and do everything we can to reduce stress and anxiety for each other, and especially retail workers. A little extra kindness and understanding will go a very long way this holiday season.

NLRB DIRECTS NEW ELECTION AT AMAZON IN BESSEMER, ALABAMA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 NLRB DIRECTS NEW ELECTION AT AMAZON IN BESSEMER, ALABAMA (BESSEMER, AL) – Today, the Director of Region 10 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) formally issued a Decision and Direction of a Second Election, granting workers at Amazon in Bessemer, Alabama a new election based on the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union’s (RWDSU) objections to Amazon’s conduct during the union election conducted in the Spring of 2021.  Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following immediate reaction: “Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along – that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace – and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal. Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union.” The RWDSU charged Amazon with illegal misconduct during the union vote in Bessemer, Alabama. In August, the Hearing Officer who presided over the case determined that Amazon violated labor law; and recommended that the Regional Director set aside the results of the election and direct a second election. The date and method of the new election are yet to be determined. NOTE: Please contact the NLRB directly and follow their FOIA procedures to potentially receive a copy of the Decision and Direction of a Second Election.  # # # 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.  

NYC COUNCIL PASSES HISTORIC LABOR HARMONY LEGISLATION INT. 2456

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 NYC COUNCIL PASSES HISTORIC LABOR HARMONY LEGISLATION INT. 2456 (NEW YORK, NY) – Today, the New York City Council passed historic labor harmony legislation into law. The new law Int. 2456 known as Labor Peace for Retail, Food Service and Distribution Labor will help to create dignified workplaces where workers are able to exercise their freedom of association without fear of coercion or intimidation. It will also protect New York City’s investments in economic development by ensuring they are not threatened by labor disruptions. “Labor peace is a win-win for New York City taxpayers and workers. When the City subsidizes a project, workers in turn want an atmosphere where their rights are respected. Labor peace does just that. Taxpayers also want to know that their investments are protected. Labor peace does just that. When workers’ rights are respected, we can more effectively challenge income inequality, establish a living wage and have a more effective recovery from COVID-19. Codifying and strengthening the executive order into law means more workers will be able to choose without fear and intimidation to belong to a union. Thank you to the New York City Council and Speaker Corey Johnson. We look forward to it being signed into law,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “When City dollars subsidize the development of retail stores and food establishments, New Yorkers who work there should be free to join a union and never face union-busting. Labor peace and this law will help ensure that happens,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “New York City is and always will be a union town, because unions protect workers’ rights and help create a stronger economy for all of us. I was proud to sponsor this bill in the Council, and I hope it will be swiftly signed into law.” NYC spends millions of dollars each year providing economic development incentives to private companies. These incentives include tax exemptions and credits, tax-exempt bonds, low-interest loans, free or low-cost land and more. This bill codifies and strengthens Executive Order 19 of 2016, which requires labor peace for subsidized retail and food service contracts. The proposed bill adds distribution centers as a new industry that is covered, and it lowers key thresholds to expand the law’s coverage. Enacting this legislation will have long-lasting positive economic and social impacts for New York City.  # # # 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.