Workers Once Earning Below-Minimum Wage Win Pay Hikes to $8.15/Hour, Benefits and More with Contract Won by Unique Community-Labor Campaign

Retail workers at citywide chain win first union contract as result of

campaign by Make the Road by Walking and the Retail, Wholesale and Department

Store Union/UFCW



08 Feb, 2006, 00:00 ET from The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

    NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 100 workers at Footco/New York
 Sneakers, the 10-store sneaker and apparel chain, have won a three-year
 contract as a result of Despierta Bushwick! (Awake, Bushwick!), a campaign
 conducted by Make the Road by Walking, its Workers in Action Project, and the
 Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU).  The community-
 labor partnership spearheading this campaign is an innovative model for
 organizing drives the RWDSU is conducting throughout the city.
     Footco workers ratified the contract that provides significant wage hikes,
 health care coverage, a prescription plan, paid vacation and sick days, and
 more on January 22. With the three-year contract, the workers receive $7.25
 per hour which will increases to $8.15 per hour over the life of the contract,
 vacation, and paid sick and personal time-off, and more. Workers with twenty
 or more hours per week also receive health care benefits and a prescription
 drug plan.
     The contract also covers workers at Footco stores in the East New York
 section of Brooklyn, Jamaica and Jackson Heights in Queens, the South Bronx
 and mid-town Manhattan.
     Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store
 Union/UFCW said this was the first time a partnership between a labor union
 and a community-based organization had resulted in a contract for retail
 workers. "This is a unique organizing model that the RWDSU is also creating in
 other areas around the city. We are participating in partnerships that
 acknowledge the wisdom, voice and experience of workers and their communities
 as we seek to achieve social and economic justice."
     Andrew Friedman, head of Make The Road by Walking said, "This contract is
 a major victory for Footco's workers, and a major victory for the movement for
 workers' rights in this city. It shows that when communities and organized
 labor work together, we can win dignity and justice for workers."
     Also at the press conference were workers from Footco stores in the
 Bushwick section of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan who are now
 members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, as well as
 members of Make the Road by Walking's Workers In Action Project, and
 Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY, 12th District).
     The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW represents workers
 throughout the U.S. and Canada, including approximately 45,000 workers in New
 York.
 
 

SOURCE The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
    NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 100 workers at Footco/New York
 Sneakers, the 10-store sneaker and apparel chain, have won a three-year
 contract as a result of Despierta Bushwick! (Awake, Bushwick!), a campaign
 conducted by Make the Road by Walking, its Workers in Action Project, and the
 Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU).  The community-
 labor partnership spearheading this campaign is an innovative model for
 organizing drives the RWDSU is conducting throughout the city.
     Footco workers ratified the contract that provides significant wage hikes,
 health care coverage, a prescription plan, paid vacation and sick days, and
 more on January 22. With the three-year contract, the workers receive $7.25
 per hour which will increases to $8.15 per hour over the life of the contract,
 vacation, and paid sick and personal time-off, and more. Workers with twenty
 or more hours per week also receive health care benefits and a prescription
 drug plan.
     The contract also covers workers at Footco stores in the East New York
 section of Brooklyn, Jamaica and Jackson Heights in Queens, the South Bronx
 and mid-town Manhattan.
     Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store
 Union/UFCW said this was the first time a partnership between a labor union
 and a community-based organization had resulted in a contract for retail
 workers. "This is a unique organizing model that the RWDSU is also creating in
 other areas around the city. We are participating in partnerships that
 acknowledge the wisdom, voice and experience of workers and their communities
 as we seek to achieve social and economic justice."
     Andrew Friedman, head of Make The Road by Walking said, "This contract is
 a major victory for Footco's workers, and a major victory for the movement for
 workers' rights in this city. It shows that when communities and organized
 labor work together, we can win dignity and justice for workers."
     Also at the press conference were workers from Footco stores in the
 Bushwick section of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan who are now
 members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, as well as
 members of Make the Road by Walking's Workers In Action Project, and
 Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY, 12th District).
     The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW represents workers
 throughout the U.S. and Canada, including approximately 45,000 workers in New
 York.
 
 SOURCE  The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union