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.  

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.