FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2021

Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259


(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. 

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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.