Unions are Not a Special Interest Group

Individual labor unions, like any organized constituency, sometimes have interests that conflict with the greater public’s. Police unions have an interest in protecting their officers from legal liability; the public, in ensuring that those who are supposed to “serve and protect” us have ample incentive not to shoot us dead. Coal miners’ unions have an interest in perpetuating their industry; the public, in perpetuating climatic conditions conducive to human life. But these conflicts do not render organized labor — as a whole — a “special interest group” like any other. While certain unions may be an obstacle to the greater good on discrete issues, they are collectively a uniquely effective vehicle for realizing that good on the issues that matter most to working people. read more at NY Magazine

New Jersey Health Care Workers Ratify Strong Contract

RWDSU Local 108 members at Woodlands Genesis health care center in New Jersey have ratified a new contract, their first union agreement since joining the RWDSU last year. The strong first contract was ratified by 100 percent of the membership. The contract brings some of the changes that workers sought when the joined together to join the union. For the first time, workers will be receiving shift and weekend differentials. They've also won four extra Holidays: MLK, Memorial Day, Easter and a floating Holiday. In addition, workers will see a 60 percent reduction on their contribution to the health Plan and a 2 percent wage increase for members under 5 years of service and a 2.5 percent or more increase for members over 5 years of service depending of the shift.  

RWDSU Endorses Lt. Governor Kathleen Hochul for Re-Election

Today, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced the union’s endorsement of New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul on her re-election campaign. Continue reading

RWDSU Endorses Letitia James for New York Attorney General

NEW YORK, NY – Today, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced the union’s endorsement of Letitia James for Attorney General. The announcement comes on the heels of the Public Advocate’ historic announcement launching her statewide campaign. “Whether through legislation or on the picket lines fighting corporate greed, Letitia James has always stood with labor. The RWDSU is proud to now stand with Tish. as she has the experience, passion and commitment to lead our state as Attorney General. Now, more than ever, when the rights of workers, people of color, immigrants and women are being threatened, we must have a leader who has our values and is up to the challenge. We know Tish James will be that leader,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “From the two-day weekend, to the minimum wage, and child protections, the labor movement has been at the forefront of so many great progressive actions. I am proud to have the endorsement of the RWDSU, one of the largest and most active unions in New York and across the country. I have always been a champion for working people, and as Attorney General I will be the guardian of worker’s rights to ensure that no matter what federal administration, or what corporate interest may challenge us, we will always protect the women and men of labor,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.    

RWDSU Backs Alcantara for Re-election

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Democratic Sen. Marisol Alcantara. The former member of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference faces a primary challenge this year from Robert Jackson, a former New York City councilman. “Marosol Alcantara is a strong voice for working people in Albany and we are proud to endorse her re-election campaign today,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. read more about here:

RWDSU Endorses Sen. Marisol Alcantara For Reelection

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union on Wednesday announced its endorsement of Democratic Sen. Marisol Alcantara. “Marosol Alcantara is a strong voice for working people in Albany and we are proud to endorse her re-election campaign today,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. Continue reading

RWDSU Members Help Deliver Wins for Baraka, Council Members in New Jersey

NEWARK, NJ – Today, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and Charles Hall, Jr., President of Local 108 of the RWDSU, congratulated the work of members of RWDSU Local 108 in New Jersey whose tireless efforts helped ensured victory last night for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Council Members Mildred Trump, Carlos Gonzalez, John Sharpe, Eddie Osbourne, Luis Quintana, and Anibal Ramos in Newark, New Jersey. RWDSU members door-knocked, mailed and phone banked for the union’s endorsed candidates across the city throughout the spring to ensure candidates, who would advocate for union values, won tonight.   “We congratulate Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Council Members Mildred Trump, Carlos Gonzalez, John Sharpe, Eddie Osbourne, Luis Quintana ,and Anibal Ramos for their victory tonight,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Because of Mayor Baraka’s leadership, Newark is heading in the right path: one that is revitalizing neighborhoods, creating more jobs, and making communities safer. We look forward to working with him and the City Council to improve the lives of working people in Newark over the next four years and protecting workers’ rights to organize by establishing labor peace in the city.”   “We are proud to support the Mayor and congratulate him in winning another four years leading Newark. He’s the right person at the right time for the challenges ahead. We are entering a renaissance and the Mayor, and the City Council are working hard to make sure no Newarker gets left behind. They’re committed to working hand in hand with labor and we look forward to making sure new jobs coming to Newark are good union jobs,” said Charles Hall, Jr., President of Local 108 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 

Saying Me Too is Harder for Low Wage Workers

Faced with vindictive employers and a dearth of good employment opportunities, women fighting sexual harassment and abuse in service-sector jobs face unrelenting pressure to keep quiet. Read about it here at The American Prospect

RWDSU ANNOUNCES FIRST NY CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

NEW YORK, NY – Today, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced the union’s first endorsements in Congressional races across New York State.   “Working people need strong advocates in Washington, D.C. We count on members of Congress to stand up and fight for our rights. And we are proud today to endorse incumbents and candidates who understand that working women and men are the foundation of our society; workers need to be treated with dignity, justice and respect. We will put the full force of our strong union behind these candidates,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Continue reading

The Case for Raising Min. Wage Keeps Getting Stronger

Raising the minimum wage has been hotly debated in cities and states for years. Supporters argue that it's a remedy for widening wage inequality and will boost consumer spending, while opponents counter that it could reduce opportunities for employment, particularly for teenagers and others looking for entry level or low-skilled jobs. Now, another batch of proposed wage hikes is headed for ballots in 2018, with initiatives underway in Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, Washington, and Washington D.C. And this time, as research on earlier minimum wage hikes piles up, the impact on workers is starting to become more clear. The outlook? While some jobs could be lost as a consequence of more ambitious jumps in the minimum wage, the vast majority of workers who remain employed will enjoy higher pay and the economy overall isn't expected to suffer as a result. read about it at CNN