REI store in New York becomes the first to unionize | National government and new policies

NEW YORK (AP) — Workers at a New York outpost of outdoor clothing and gear retailer REI have voted overwhelmingly to join a union — the first REI store to do so — amid the efforts of workers in other big companies to do the same.

The National Labor Relations Board said Thursday the vote in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood was 88 to 14 in favor of representation by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

“History was made today! We are delighted to welcome REI SoHo workers to RWDSU,” union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement.

“With a seat at the table, workers can make working at REI safe and sustainable for years to come,” he said.

In a statement after the vote, REI said, “As we have said throughout this process, REI firmly believes that the decision of whether or not to be represented by a union is important, and we respect the right of every employee to choose or refuse. union representation. »

Organizing efforts at various retailers are underway across the country. Two Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York, and one in Mesa, Arizona, voted to organizeand workers at Amazon sites in New York and Alabama are also lobby for union representation.

Seattle-based REI has more than 170 locations in 41 states and Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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