STATEMENT: Drop the Charges on Denver Anti-racism Organizers

STATEMENT FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM Drop the Charges on Denver Anti-racism Organizers "We stand in solidarity with the Denver Area Labor Federation in their calling on District Attorneys Dave Young and George Brauchler to drop the charges against recently arrested organizers. The charges against these peaceful protesters is an attack on our democratic rights, similar to this administration's attacks on labor rights for workers across the country." Learn more at: 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2020  Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259 AMAZON PRIME DAY STATEMENT  FROM RWDSU PRESIDENT STUART APPELBAUM  (NEW YORK, NY) –  On the eve of the two-day Amazon Prime Day shopping event, Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following statement:  “Amazon’s Prime Day means more injuries and unacceptable levels of stress for its workforce. During normal times it’s a grueling period for workers. During a global pandemic it may well push workers beyond their limit.  “Amazon continues to demonstrate a callous disregard for the health and safety of its employees.  It shows more concern for its robots than for the working people who have helped create the massive wealth which has made Jeff Bezos the wealthiest person in the history of the world. Amazon’s business model is based on feasting on taxpayer-funded subsidies, paying little or no taxes and mistreating and dehumanizing its workforce. “When Amazon employees have spoken out about dangers in their workplace - especially during the pandemic, Amazon has responded by firing the workers and treating it as a public relations problem rather than as an urgent health and safety problem. As a result, Amazon workers have died. “Amazon has even developed data points and software to spy on their workers and to snuff out any attempts by them to exercise their legal right to organize –  and that is unAmerican.  “Amazon needs to change the way it operates. Amazon needs to understand that its workers are not expendable.” # # # 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, Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW Twitter:@RWDSU.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2020  RWDSU ENDORSES KEVIN RILEY FOR CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 12 (NEW YORK, NY) –  Today, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced the union’s endorsement of Kevin Riley for New York City Council District 12.  “Kevin Riley knows what our members in The Bronx need. He’s spent his entire life working to lift up working people, families, communities and the next generation of Bronx residents – and now we need him to bring that work to the New York City Council. We know Kevin will bring new ideas, bold approaches, and his wealth of experience to the office. We are ready to get to work on his campaign. Kevin is a fighter and workers across District 12 need him to fight for them in the City Council,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).  # # #


(NEW YORK, NY) –  In response to today’s leak of how Amazon tracks worker, union and community group data using a new technology system called the geoSPatial Operating Console (SPOC), Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following statement:    “Today’s leak sheds light on the horrendous data mining work we’ve known Amazon was capable of for far too long – it’s disturbing on every conceivable level.     “It’s one thing to track a shopper’s internet activity to best market a pair of shoes to them; but it’s another when your intent is to control the minds of your workforce. Amazon’s tracking of workers’ micro-movements, decision points and searches and then linking all of that data to that of unions, community groups and legislative policy campaigns is union busting on its face.  It is an attempt to silence a workforce experiencing some of the most egregious workplace hazards we’ve ever seen.    “Workers have rights in this country. And it’s inexcusable for Amazon, or any company to spy on workers to keep them from exercising these rights.”                             


Several former employees of Housing Works claim that the Downtown Brooklyn nonprofit fired them during the COVID-19 pandemic as retribution for their involvement in an ongoing unionization effort. The Housing Works organizing group, represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, plans to file Unfair Labor Practice complaints with the federal National Labor Relations Board on Friday, alleging company leadership tried to rid four of their rank-and-file for being outspoken unionizers. read it here at Brooklyn Paper 


NEW YORK – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced legislation to keep New York workers safe on the job during the covid-19 pandemic. The legislation, known as the NY HERO Act, requires businesses to have enforceable safety standards to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Photos from today’s press conference are available here. The NY HERO Act, or the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, would mandate the Departments of Labor and Health to implement minimum standards for workplace safety, enforceable through significant fines. The regulations must include protocols on testing, PPE, social distancing, hand hygiene, disinfection, and engineering controls. Employers would be permitted to establish individual regulations for their businesses that exceed state requirements. Workers would also be given a direct role in monitoring and reporting violations through workplace health and safety committees that would be empowered to raise complaints and report violations. The bill would protect employees from retaliation for utilizing their rights under the law. The NY HERO Act is supported by more than 100 labor, community, and safety organizations.   Continue reading


“Governor Kim Reynolds’ response to Hurricane Derecho is failing our members in Iowa. Hundreds of hard working men and women who manufacture food that has been critically needed during the COVID-19 pandemic – at iconic American food brands like Quaker Oats, General Mills, and Cole’s Quality Foods – are living in a war zone. It is outrageous that it took Governor Reynolds nearly a week to call in the National Guard when we know it will take weeks and months to recover. Too many Iowans are suffering and it is not acceptable that they are living without electricity, many are unable to go work, downed trees block roads for families to get badly needed essential supplies – it’s horrific,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 

Read the New Issue of the RWDSU Record: RWDSU Heroes

The current issue puts the spotlight on the amazing work done by RWDSU heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the RWDSU is fighting for safer workplaces and treatment that recognizes how RWDSU members have kept America moving in the face of this historic public health crisis.   


“The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is thrilled by the selection of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate. The Democratic Party has put together a dream ticket. And we will do everything we can to help elect Biden-Harris. “Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a strong supporter of the needs and aspirations of working people. She has stood with them and their unions consistently.   “She will play an important role in undoing the damage caused by the Trump Administration’s failures. Kamala Harris will help revive America’s historic journey towards justice and equality for all.  “We are proud to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the leaders America needs,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 

Employees Trying to Organize Rip “Union-Busting” at Housing Works

Housing Works employees and the union seeking to represent them are expressing anger over the ongoing resistance of the non-profit’s out gay CEO, Charles King, a man who they say has drifted from his radical activism to become a union-busting boss. The rift comes as the agency is in its fifth month of contending with the coronavirus pandemic, a stretch that has witnessed significant staffing changes there. The union proponents’ latest beef is with King’s appeal to the Washington headquarters of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), where employees believe their efforts are viewed less favorably by Donald Trump appointees than they are in the federal agency’s Brooklyn district office. The Housing Works organizing group, represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), has spent months trying to advance their effort at unionizing, complaining of shoddy health insurance plans, high caseloads, a meager paid time-off policy, and more. RWDSU and some Housing Works employees say the battle represents an ironic twist at a non-profit that has spent decades preaching progressive causes while serving clients with HIV/ AIDS experiencing homelessness. Workers stormed off the job last October and held a rally at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, where folks heard testimonials from employees like Siobhán Fuller, a transgender woman who explained that her agency health insurance plan included a high deductible that forced her to shell out hundreds of dollars for necessary hormones as well as a $100 bill for every doctor appointment. Read the whole story at GCN