FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2020
Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259
STATEMENT ON NYC COUNCIL PASSAGE OF INT. 1145
New Law Could Lead to Price Gouging of New York’s Most Vulnerable and Essential Worker Wage Cuts
(NEW YORK, NY) – Yesterday, the New York City Council passed Int. 1145. Disguised as a consumer protection and small business bill, Int. 1145 eliminates item pricing. But in practice, it eliminates the transparency established by the Truth in Pricing law, harming New York’s most vulnerable consumers and slashing essential workers' wages.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), RWDSU Local 338 and the NYC Central Labor Council, issued the following joint statement on Int. 1145:
“We are disappointed that the New York City Council passed Int. 1145 and we oppose the implementation of it.
“Heavily cloaked in rhetoric, this bill is a hand-out to large retailers who are looking to find cost savings at the expense of their workforce. Without clear pricing labels on items, seniors and New Yorkers who are sight, hearing or otherwise impaired will be vulnerable to price gouging and deceptive practices at stores across the City. Workers in supermarkets and other retail stores could see a reduction in hours and therefore, wages as a result of the implementation of this legislation. New Yorkers spent the past year heralding these same front-line workers as ‘heroes’; and implementing this bill could slash these same workers’ pay.
“If the New York City Council really wants to support brick and mortar small businesses we need to find solutions that strengthen them without negatively impacting the general public or their workers.
“Implementation of this law will harm New York’s most vulnerable consumers and workers at a time when the City needs our economy to rebound swiftly. This is not a way to help us do that.”
Currently, shoppers are clearly able to see what an item in-hand costs. They are able to discern what a specific item size or variety costs and can compare before it ever goes in their cart. Consumers can also easily cross reference the cost of an item as it is scanned at checkout against the price listed on the item for accuracy. Int. 1145 shifts the burden and labor from the retailer on to the consumer who must now locate a scanner within the store and, assuming it works, scan their own items to determine pricing before checkout. Without item prices shoppers can easily be duped into paying more and workers' hours could be cut, decreasing their wages.
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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 www.rwdsu.org, Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW Twitter:@RWDSU.