This March, workers at the 13th street Utrecht became the first at their company to unionize, when they voted to join the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU). Now, they’re set to sit down to negotiate a contract, and they are asking for the public to help put the pressure on by signing a petition on MoveOn.org.
In the upcoming round of contract negotiations, workers are calling on the company to provide:
- Living Wage
- Guaranteed, regularly scheduled raises
- Advance notice of schedules and ensured proper staffing levels
According to the text, many of workers are artists, most of whom “make less than $10 per hour”. Adding to that, the petition notes that hours were “unilaterally slashed” last year when Utrecht was bought out by Blick.
No word yet from the union or the company, but we will update the post accordingly.
Update 6/7: We spoke with RWDSU Organizer Stephanie Basile, who explained that the cuts in hours helped bring the situation to a head:
One of the biggest changes that Blick made when they took over was forcing everyone to be part-time. That was one of the big issues that led to organizing…most people have been forced into other jobs. They’re bringing in new people who are younger and more okay with that. We’re told that workers don’t need the same level of expertise anymore.