Cuomo Calls for Hearings on Tip Credit

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday he wants to evaluate and possibly end minimum wage tip credits in New York. The governor announced he has ordered the state Department of Labor to hold public hearings next year to solicit input from workers and employers on the tipped wages credit, which allows owners of businesses such as restaurants, car washes and nail salons to pay workers less than the legal minimum wage. The review of the state’s minimum wage tip credits will be included in Cuomo’s State of the State address on Jan. 3, the governor said Sunday on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show with supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis. “No worker should earn below the minimum wage — ever,” said Stuart Applebaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. “We have been working for years to improve conditions for carwash workers. Today, Governor Cuomo recognized that this abhorrent loophole has left immigrant workers susceptible to wage theft.” Read the full story at Newsday  

President Appelbaum’s Statement on NY Tip Credit Proposal

    Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), said, "No worker should earn below the minimum wage - ever. For far too long workers in New York have earned poverty wages. We have been working for years to improve conditions for car wash workers. Today, Governor Cuomo recognized that this abhorrent loophole has left immigrant workers susceptible to wage theft, and 5,000 workers now have a chance to earn fair wages for their work. His announcement today is an important next step in ensuring that no worker in New York State is underpaid and impoverished." Read more about Gov. Cuomo’s Proposal Here:

RWDSU Members Pitch in for Jones' Big Win

In a huge upset win, Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore for the open Alabama Senate seat last night. RWDSU members in the South were there every step of the way, fighting for a candidate who will bring the concerns of Alabama’s workers to Washington by assisting the campaign and getting out the vote.  RWDSU Mid-South Council members work the phone banks to drive up voter attendance.     RWDSU members distributed campaign literature at many worksites, including this poultry plant in Decatur, Alabama.   RWDSU members were on hand last night to take in the jubilant scene at the Doug Jones victory party.

Tell the USDA to Protect Poultry Workers

As line speeds increase, so do injuries — including serious and bloody cuts. Unbelievably, major poultry industry groups are ignoring these risks and lobbying the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to eliminate line speed limits entirely.Forcing poultry workers and federal meat inspectors to work significantly faster will increase the odds they’re injured and make chicken less safe for every consumer to eat. For the sake of keeping hard-working families and the chicken we eat safe — tell the USDA to reject the petition to eliminate line speeds at poultry plants by leaving a comment. Go here to sign the petition  

Retail Labor Woes Hinder Customer Service Efforts

“Retailers say they’re trying to staff up, but the easiest thing to do would be to offer their part-time workers full-time jobs,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Forty-seven percent of frontline employees -- such as sales associates and cashiers -- work part-time, according to a survey from the Fair Workweek Initiative. Part-time workers reported an hourly wage of 32 cents less than their full-time colleagues, with hours fluctuating from 16 to 29 per week. One in three workers said they hadn’t received a raise in the last two years   Read more about this issue at Bloomberg

RWDSU Endorses Keisha Lance Bottoms for Atlanta Mayor

  RETAIL, WHOLESALE AND DEPARTMENT STORE UNION ENDORSES KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS FOR ATLANTA MAYOR IN RUN-OFF Highlights Bottoms’ Pledge to Leave No One Behind, Especially the Working People of Atlanta   (ATLANTA, GA) – Today, Edgar Fields, President of the Southeast Council of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), whose membership includes 10,000 men and women in Georgia, announced the union’s endorsement of Keisha Lance Bottoms for Atlanta Mayor. This endorsement comes just days after Bottoms edged ahead of a crowded field and prevailed as the democratic contender in the runoff election scheduled for December 5, 2018.   Earlier this year, the Southeast Council of the RWDSU hosted its very first Mayoral Forum in the city, where members and community leaders heard from candidates on the issues that matter most to Atlanta voters. The union has been a strong political force across the city for all working people and today, the Southeast Council of the RWDSU pledges it’s support for Bottoms.   “Atlanta is stronger when our elected officials write and enforce laws that uplift working people, Keisha Lance Bottoms has pledged to ensure that no Atlantan is left behind and that all working people will have a voice in her administration, which is why we are proud to endorse her campaign today and put the full force of the Southeast Council of the RWDSU and our 10,000 members behind her,” said Edgar Fields, President of the Southeast Council of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Local 108 Brightens Holidays for Needy Families

RWDSU Local 108 donated time and financial support to area churches this Thanksgiving to help provide holiday meals for needy families in the Newark, New Jersey area. Local 108 members helped churches provide Thanksgiving dinner meals for over 1000 families. The local works with Local 108 employers including supermarkets to provide the meals. “The staff of Local 108 feels it is a good thing to reach out and lend a helping hand to people in need in the community.  There are so many people in need of help, I wish and pray that we could do more,” said Local 108 President Charles N. Hall, Jr.

Bunny Bread Pact Brings Gains for Illinois Members

A new three-year contract for Local 835 members at Bunny Bread increases wages for Shipping Clerks and Drivers by two percent annually and maintains their health insurance. With the employee contribution remaining the same for the life of the agreement, the company will be absorbing a five percent increase in year three. The contract also protects workers’ pensions, and adds a fifth year of vacation after 20 years of service. Holiday pay will also be increased for drivers. The workers are employed at Bunny Bread in Edwardsville, Illinois. The Bargaining Committee consisted of Chief Steward Michael David Fricker and Indiana Joint Board President Dave Altman.

Local 338 Helps Spread Holiday Cheer

Hempstead, New York — On November 14, 2017, Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW delivered 200 turkeys donated by Local 338 members to several food pantries and charitable organizations throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County as part of the union’s annual “Turkey Drive.” The donated turkeys will then be used to provide Thanksgiving meals or distributed directly to families in need who are served by these charities.    Donations from the “Turkey Drive” were made to The INN in Hempstead (Nassau County), food pantries based on the campuses of Suffolk County Community College and Nassau Community College, Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church in the Bronx, Project Hospitality on Staten Island, and The Sharing Community in Yonkers (Westchester County).   “We are incredibly grateful to Local 338 for their generous donation of turkeys for guests of The INN,” said Jean Kelly, Executive Director. “The holidays are a particularly difficult time for our fellow community members who are hungry. This donation allows our soup kitchen guests who do not come in for a meal to enjoy a Thanksgiving at home with their families. Each turkey will be distributed to a family in great need. On behalf of our guests, we thank you for your spirit of giving.”   “Helping those in need is central to our mission at Local 338 and we believe in doing what we can to support those less fortunate,” said John R. Durso, President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW. “Many families in the communities that we live and work in rely on local charities and food pantries to make ends meet and we are proud to make these donations to help them have a wonderful Thanksgiving.”

STATEMENT: Members in Nassau County Worked Tirelessly in Support Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman

  STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM Members in Nassau County Worked Tirelessly in Support Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman   NEW YORK, NY – Tonight, President Stuart Appelbaum of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) highlighted the work of RWDSU Locals 338 and 1102 on Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman races in Nassau County, Long Island. RWDSU members door-knocked and phone banked for the new Nassau County Executive and Comptroller throughout the fall and on Election Day to ensure candidates, who would advocate for union values, won tonight.   “Nassau County needs strong leaders who will fight to ensure that workers’ voices are heard and that every dollar is used diligently to help hard-working people across the county – Laura Curran and Jack Schnirman are those leaders. Members of RWDSU Locals 338 and 1102 have been working with Laura and Jack throughout their campaigns and we know that they will make Nassau’s communities fiscally healthy while providing much needed support to the services and programs that matter to our members – like early childhood programs, workforce development programs, and infrastructure projects that improve transportation in the county. Although the results haven’t been certified yet, the candidates have declared victory and we congratulate them tonight,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).