(ATLANTA, GA) – Saturday, March 3, 2018 the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) unanimously re-elected its leadership at their 23rd Quadrennial National Convention in Atlanta, GA. Stuart Appelbaum was re-elected as President from New York, Jack Wurm, Jr. as Secretary-Treasurer from Michigan, Joseph Dorismond as Recorder from New Jersey, Tina Buonaugurio as Executive Vice President from Massachusetts, and John Whitaker as Executive Vice President from Alabama. Additionally, 12 regional Vice Presidents were elected from across the country.
“Representing the members of the RWDSU is a privilege and humbling. I have never been prouder of anything in my life than being part of the RWDSU with so many courageous and strong women and men from every background and from all over the country. We left the RWDSU convention optimistic and determined. Strong unions have never been more important for working people than they are today; and even in this harsh environment, we will continue standing for our values. That is the only way forward,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
“I couldn’t be more honored to have been re-elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the RWDSU. I’ve been a member since 1969 when I drove a bread truck for Butternut Bread. In all my years with our union I’ve seen how we’ve adapted to our changing world. Our industries may have changed with e-commerce and automation in manufacturing, order fulfilment and delivery; but one thing is certain – our values have not changed, and they never will. We continue standing for our values just as we always have. And despite growing anti-union rhetoric, we continue standing with each other, our families and our communities to make our voices heard. I could not be prouder to continue to serve the members of the RWDSU,” said Jack Wurm, Jr. Secretary-Treasurer of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) held its 23rd Quadrennial Convention with over 400 Delegates, Alternates and Guests in Atlanta, GA. The RWDSU selected this year's convention location to reaffirm the union's commitment to organizing in the south, and because of Atlanta's historic role in our nation’s civil rights movement.
Additionally, over a dozen labor unions from around the world with whom the RWDSU has worked on high profile organizing wins including H&M and ZARA were in attendance. Among the resolutions adopted, the RWDSU called on Ivanka Trump Collection to sign on to the Bangladesh Accord, as have hundreds of fashion manufacturers around the world. The Accord was the worlds response to the horrific loss of over 1,100 people at Rana Plaza a large ready-made clothing factory in Bangladesh. The accord has over 200 signatories to date including H&M, Inditex, PVH and Adidas among others. The absence of the Ivanka Trump Collection is glaring. (A complete list of resolutions and final text as resolved will be provided upon request).
Speakers at the convention included several major city mayors – Bill de Blasio of New York City, Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta and Randall Woodfin of Alabama; Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO; the leaders of two global union federations – Christy Hoffman of UNI Global Union and Sue Longley of the IUF; Marc Perrone, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); Christina Jimenez, Co-Founder and Executive Director, United We Dream; Ben Jealous, Former President of the NAACP; and James Fields of Alabama.