AMAZON HOLIDAY STATEMENT FROM RWDSU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2021  Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 (NEW YORK, NY) – As the holiday shopping season gets underway, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), issued the following statement urging Amazon to treat workers with dignity and respect – especially at this time of year: “This holiday season, as shoppers continue to make their purchases online, Amazon workers are being pushed to the brink. Every year, Amazon workers across the world are forced to work mandatory overtime and at an often-unattainable pace that results in injuries. Amazon must be held accountable for its egregious quotas and safety issues, which are injuring workers around the globe at an alarming rate. No worker should ever have to worry if they’ll go home injured after a shift.  “Amazon has a well-documented history of mistreating and dehumanizing its workers in the U.S. and around the world. The stress can be particularly hard on any day, but especially during the holiday shopping season. Workers at Amazon’s warehouses are pushed to the limits to meet unreasonable quotas and demands from nameless and faceless algorithms and apps on their phones.  “Amazon needs to recognize the health and safety needs of its employees. It needs to reduce the unbearable pace of work which has resulted in countless documented physical and mental injuries – a pace of work that is only exacerbated by the holiday shopping season.  “Most importantly, Amazon must stop union-busting. The company has continued to repress workers' voices and prevent their ability to make effective change at work – which can only happen when workers are able to join together through a union,” 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.

HOLIDAY SHOPPING STATEMENT FROM RWDSU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2021  Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 (NEW YORK, NY) – As the holiday shopping season gets underway, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), issued the following statement urging holiday shoppers to treat workers with dignity and respect as they return to shopping in stores amid supply-chain issues: “Our members are eager to welcome customers back to stores this holiday season, but as incidents of harassment, violence and hate continue to rise in stores workers are worried about their physical and mental safety.  “The supply chain is still precarious as we emerge from the pandemic. Retail workers bear the brunt of shoppers’ frustration. Tempers quickly rise when customers hear that coveted holiday items are stuck on shipping containers at sea and have been backordered for months; and especially if they’ve gone to multiple stores only to go home empty handed.  “Workers are not to blame, and stores should provide security, safety protocols and training to handle irate shoppers this season. Retail workers experience heightened stress and pressure this time of year, even in normal times. Shoppers need to remember what this season is supposed to be all about – kindness,” 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.  

BEZOS HANDOUT STATEMENT FROM RWDSU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 BEZOS HANDOUT STATEMENT FROM RWDSU (NEW YORK, NY) – Ahead of the U.S. Senate’s consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a $10 billion subsidy to one of Jeff Bezos’s companies, Blue Origin, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following statement: “Jeff Bezos shouldn't receive taxpayer subsidies for his personal projects – period. In at least two recent years, one of the richest people on the planet paid no income tax; yet he then demands billions in taxpayer funds for a project that’s already been awarded to another company. This is the height of hubris.“Rather than waste $10 billion dollars on a redundant space contract for Bezos, that money could be used to adequately fund Social Security Disability, Medicare and Medicaid and the food stamps that many of his own employees at Amazon and elsewhere have to rely on to make ends meet.“Jeff Bezos’s business model includes feasting on public subsidies – and the U.S. Senate must not acquiesce to his demands. Furthermore, until Jeff Bezos changes the way his employees are mistreated and dehumanized at Amazon and elsewhere, no elected official should support the passage of subsidies for him or any of his projects. “Providing Jeff Bezos with ten billion dollars of taxpayer money would be an inappropriate giveaway of galactic proportions.” # # #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.

U.S. Sets Jan. 4 Vaccination Deadline for Big Private Employers

The New York Times Three major retailers — Walmart, Amazon and Target — declined to comment. Gap, the owner of Banana Republic and Old Navy, reiterated that it was offering incentives, including weekly drawings to win $1,000, to encourage employees to get vaccinated. A Macy’s representative said the store was encouraging the vaccines and that it was “studying the most recent government mandate and will implement it as required.” Many nursing home businesses had pushed to avoid a strict requirement, and the American Health Care Association, a nursing-home trade group, expressed disappointment with the new rule. “We are concerned that the execution will exacerbate an already dire work force crisis in long-term care,” Mark Parkinson, the group’s chief executive, said in a statement. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents 100,000 workers, applauded the plan. “Too many essential and frontline workers’ lives continue to be on the line in this pandemic, and having a standard to protect workers across the board is critical,” it said. Companies that have already mandated vaccines, including 3M, Procter & Gamble, IBM and the airlines American, Alaska and JetBlue, have not had large numbers of employees quit as a result, though a small minority of workers have.

OSHA ETS STATEMENT FROM RWDSU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 OSHA ETS STATEMENT FROM RWDSU (NEW YORK, NY) – Tomorrow, the new OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 vaccines and testing will go into effect. Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which represents essential and frontline workers in grocery, pharmacy, retail, food service, food processing, distribution, building services, warehousing, nursing homes, non-profit at facilities across the United States issued the following statement: “The new ETS announced today will go a long way to protect our members from contracting COVID-19. Too many essential and frontline workers' lives continue to be on the line in this pandemic, and having a standard to protect workers across the board is critical. The science shows the greatest protection against severe illness and death to COVID-19 workers can take for themselves and their families is to get vaccinated. Our union has been negotiating terms for workers around vaccine mandates across many industries and this new standard will provide a unilateral standard, which includes an option to adopt a testing protocol and face coverings for workers who cannot be vaccinated. This ETS is a necessary win for workers who for too long under the last administration were left on the line unprotected.”  # # # 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.

Amazon takes another swipe at union as Alabama rematch looms

Earlier this year, Amazon.com Inc handily defeated a historic union drive at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. But with the prospect of another vote looming, the online retailer is leaving nothing to chance. Over the past few weeks, Amazon has ramped up its campaign at the warehouse, forcing thousands of employees to attend meetings, posting signs critical of labor groups in bathrooms, and flying in staff from the West Coast, according to interviews and documents seen by Reuters. It is an indication that Amazon is sticking to its aggressive playbook. In August, a U.S. National Labor Relations Board hearing officer said the company's conduct around the previous vote interfered with the Bessemer union election. An NLRB regional director's decision on whether to order a new vote is forthcoming. Amazon has denied wrongdoing and said it wanted employees' voices to be heard. Still, the moves to discourage unionization ahead of any second election, previously unreported, show how Amazon is fighting representation at its U.S. worksites. An uptick in labor activity since workers in April rejected joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), including organizing drives in New York and Canada, has pushed Amazon to react. Other prominent unions like the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are also vowing to organize Amazon. The risk: unions could alter how Amazon manages its vast, finely tuned operation and drive up costs at a time when a labor shortage is taking a toll on its profit. Wilma Liebman, a former NLRB chair, said the stakes are high. "They really, really fear any toe in the door to unionization," Liebman said. "There's nothing like a win, and a win can be contagious." In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said a union "will impact everyone at the site so it's important all employees understand what that means for them and their day-to-day life working at Amazon." In the new campaign, Amazon has dedicated a week of mandatory meetings to warn staff that unions will force them to strike and forgo pay, a nod to the recent stoppages roiling workplaces across the country. Read more at Reuters.

RWDSU LOCAL 110 MEMBERS DELIVER TRUCK-LOAD OF FOOD & SUPPLIES TO UAW LOCAL 838 IN SUPPORT OF WORKERS ON STRIKE AT JOHN DEERE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 RWDSU LOCAL 110 MEMBERS DELIVER TRUCK-LOAD OF FOOD & SUPPLIES TO UAW LOCAL 838 IN SUPPORT OF WORKERS ON STRIKE AT JOHN DEERE  Union Members Who Make and Package Iconic American Products at Quaker, General Mills and Cole’s Quality Foods Arrived with a Large Shipment of Food, Diapers and Supplies to Support their Brothers and Sisters on Strike at John Deere (CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA) – This morning, a delegation of RWDSU Local 110 members delivered food and supplies in support of UAW union members on strike at John Deere. The donation included packages of diapers, hand warmers, toiletries, food, frozen meat as well as cases of cereal and snacks made by RWDSU Local 110 members at General Mills and Quaker in nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  “This is America’s heartland, and the heart our members are showing is just who we are. We know that if we were in their shoes they’d do the same for us, that’s what being in a union is all about, having each other's backs,” said Shane Forbes, President of RWDSU Local 110.  “We’re just doing what anyone would do if their brother or sister needed help. Iowa is built on strong union jobs at these well-known brands, and their continued attempts to pull back on long-time benefits hurts us all,” said Bob Dixon, 1st Vice President RWDSU Local 110 and Quaker Chief Steward. “When unions are strong, Iowa families are strong. What our members are doing shows that firsthand. I’m incredibly proud of the work Local 110 did to rally these donations and has been doing in support of our sisters and brothers at John Deere. The demands of UAW members are the demands of the entire labor movement, an injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us,” said Roger Grobstich, Vice President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Workers at John Deere, members of UAW, have been on strike since October 14, 2021, while the company is in the midst of its most profitable year to-date. UAW members are seeking security of their pension, fair wage increases and health benefits. RWDSU Local 110 members made headlines in 2019 around contract negotiations that sought similar provisions, ending the bleed out of long held needed benefits and fair wage increases. RWDSU Local 110 represents workers at Quaker and General Mills in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and at Cole’s Quality Foods in North Liberty, Iowa. The members handle production, sanitation and maintenance at the facilities, which produce iconic brands such as: Quaker Oats; Cereal, Granola Bars, Crunch Berries,  General Mills; the original Cheerios and other flavor varieties including Honey Nut, Frosted and Multi-Grain, and Lucky Charms cereal, as well as fruit snacks including Gushers, Fruit Roll Ups, and Fruit by the Foot, and Betty Crocker ready to spread frosting, and Cole’s; frozen breadsticks. RWDSU Local 110 Members Deliver Food & Supplies to UAW in Waterloo, Iowa (Photo Credit, RWDSU Local 110) # # # 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.

RWDSU STATEMENT ON BUILD BACK BETTER FRAMEWORK ANNOUNCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2021 Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 RWDSU STATEMENT ON BUILD BACK BETTER FRAMEWORK ANNOUNCEMENT  “The new Build Back Better framework announced by the White House today will transform the lives of millions of workers, families and communities across the country for the better. It is a critical investment which will deliver on President Biden’s commitment to rebuild America’s middle class. Making childcare more affordable, expanding health care coverage and the child tax credit as well as improving access to housing and education will change millions of lives. “Thanks to the tireless work of President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer, American workers will benefit for generations to come. We urge Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act to deliver the jobs, opportunities and support that American workers and families deserve and urgently need.” # # # 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.  

White House announces guidelines to boost unions in the federal workforce

Dive Brief: Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh announced new guidelines last week to encourage federal workers to join unions. Federal agencies will be required to inform new hires and job applicants about unions during the hiring and onboarding process. Unions may also sit in during new employee training sessions, according to a memo from the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Government employers will also need to communicate with current workers throughout the year about their collective bargaining rights and how to contact their respective unions, the memo said. The guidelines do not appear to extend to government contractors. Read more at Construction Dive 

STATEMENT ON NYC COUNCIL PASSAGE OF INT. 1145

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2020  Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259   STATEMENT ON NYC COUNCIL PASSAGE OF INT. 1145 New Law Could Lead to Price Gouging of New York’s Most Vulnerable and Essential Worker Wage Cuts (NEW YORK, NY) –  Yesterday, the New York City Council passed Int. 1145. Disguised as a consumer protection and small business bill, Int. 1145 eliminates item pricing. But in practice, it eliminates the transparency established by the Truth in Pricing law, harming New York’s most vulnerable consumers and slashing essential workers' wages.  The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), RWDSU Local 338 and the NYC Central Labor Council, issued the following joint statement on Int. 1145:  “We are disappointed that the New York City Council passed Int. 1145 and we oppose the implementation of it. “Heavily cloaked in rhetoric, this bill is a hand-out to large retailers who are looking to find cost savings at the expense of their workforce. Without clear pricing labels on items, seniors and New Yorkers who are sight, hearing or otherwise impaired will be vulnerable to price gouging and deceptive practices at stores across the City. Workers in supermarkets and other retail stores could see a reduction in hours and therefore, wages as a result of the implementation of this legislation. New Yorkers spent the past year heralding these same front-line workers as ‘heroes’; and implementing this bill could slash these same workers’ pay. “If the New York City Council really wants to support brick and mortar small businesses we need to find solutions that strengthen them without negatively impacting the general public or their workers. “Implementation of this law will harm New York’s most vulnerable consumers and workers at a time when the City needs our economy to rebound swiftly. This is not a way to help us do that.” Currently, shoppers are clearly able to see what an item in-hand costs. They are able to discern what a specific item size or variety costs and can compare before it ever goes in their cart. Consumers can also easily cross reference the cost of an item as it is scanned at checkout against the price listed on the item for accuracy. Int. 1145 shifts the burden and labor from the retailer on to the consumer who must now locate a scanner within the store and, assuming it works, scan their own items to determine pricing before checkout. Without item prices shoppers can easily be duped into paying more and workers' hours could be cut, decreasing their wages.  # # # 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.