Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Macy's Workers Threaten To Strike [UPDATE 3 6/17]


Women's Wear Daily reports details of the contract agreement:
Under the terms of the contract, all union workers will receive a general raise of $3.05 an hour over the next five years, full-time employees who work between 35 and 40 hours a week are guaranteed to hold onto those hours, workers will get one guaranteed day off a month expect during the holiday season and they can select the day. Extra hours can be picked up by part-timers, who will be eligible to participate in the medical plan if they reach full-time hours, no vacation benefits will be reduced and Macy’s will contibute more to cover the cost of health care while the workers will pay less.

According to a union officials, the new contract “delivers real gains and protections for the Macy’s workforce in the New York City area.”

UPDATE II 6/16 @10:20am:

NYC Macy's workers reach tentative agreement

The retailer and the union representing workers at several of its New York City area locations reached a tentative contract agreement Thursday morning.

(AP) - Macy's and the union representing workers at its flagship Manhattan store and three other New York locations reached a tentative contract agreement Thursday following all-night negotiations.

The union and Macy's made the announcement on the five-year proposed pact in separate statements.

Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said workers at the Herald Square flagship store would begin voting on the proposed contract on Thursday. Workers at the other stores, in the Bronx, Queens and Westchester County, would vote next Monday through Wednesday, it said.

"This is a solid contract and it reflects the fact that our workers are the true magic of Macy's," said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. (MORE...)

UPDATE 6/16 @7:30am: Reuters reports negotiations continue past the midnight deadline into the morning.

If you live in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens or White Plains, NY, and you need to get a few items at Macy's, you better hurry!
After five weeks of intense negotiations between Macy's management and the Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, 4000 workers have voted to strike if they can't come up with a new contract by 11:59pm Wednesday. Among the issues are benefits, wages and work hours:
Under the contract proposed by Macy’s, new employees would receive a 401(k) package rather than a defined-benefit pension plan; hours would be set by a new computerized system, which would dole out work assignments on a first-come-first-served basis, rather than recognize seniority or student or family schedules; and workers would pay more for health care.

Management has proposed a 35-cent hourly wage increase for current workers, and no change to the starting hourly wage of $7.50, which union negotiators have said does not constitute a living wage in New York.
However, with Macy's posting comp. sales up 7.4% in May, first quarter sales for FY 2011 up 5.7% to $5.89M and net income for the quarter increased to $131M from $23M, union officials feel management can afford to share the wealth.
“This is a company that’s in great shape financially, so it’s unacceptable for Macy’s to try to extract such massive concessions when many members of its workforce are struggling,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU. “This is a textbook case of corporate greed and excess. Macy’s is in a position to give its workers a much better contract. It must stop trying to take away everything its dedicated workers have fought so hard and so long to get.”

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