May 28, 2010

Tacoma members say Macy’s proposals will hurt families

UFCW Local 367 members turned up the volume this week and voted overwhelmingly to strike Tacoma Washington Macy’s. Negotiations have been ongoing since January. The company wants to hire new workers at minimum wage, eliminate commissions, institute random scheduling, and reduce health care benefits with no guarantee of stable coverage.

Contact Macy’s in your area and ask them to bargain a fair contract in Tacoma.

UFCW Local 367 members vote to strike Tacoma Macy’s

Union members say Macy’s proposals will hurt families

Tacoma – In balloting that was held at the union’s office on Tuesday and Wednesday, UFCW Local 367 members voted overwhelmingly to strike Tacoma Macy’s.

Negotiating since January, members turned up the volume to let Macy’s know that a proposal that is aimed at keeping all the profits for the company while taking away every chance for workers to get ahead makes them see red.

The proposed contract is a package sure to unleash a perfect storm of conditions that will keep workers living below the poverty line with no way to climb above it.

Macy’s wants to hire new workers at minimum wage, eliminate commissions, institute random scheduling, and reduce health care benefits with no guarantee of stable coverage.

Working for minimum wage with no commission will drop workers with families below the poverty line. Macy’s is offering benefits to employees who work 32 hours a week, but they are only willing to guarantee employees 28 hours.

Men’s shoes is one of the few departments that will continue to pay a commission. Jeff White works in that department and wonders what will happen if a minimum wage employee comes into his department to work. “I’m judged on my performance. If someone who doesn’t work commission takes my customers, he’ll be taking my chance at commission. How’s that going to look for me?” he asked.

Macy’s plan is to take away commissions and keep wages hovering in the region of minimum wage, leaving no way for workers to share in any economic uptick that may be on the horizon. The company wants to give workers merit increases at the company’s discretion with no guaranteed annual wage increase for everyone.

“A store that sells designer labels and big ticket items needs to share the wealth with their employees,” said UFCW President Teresa Iverson. “Macy’s wants to be a minimum wage store while making and keeping the profits of a high-end retailer.”

Union members marched into the UFCW office in Tacoma to cast their ballots with an outcome that was predictable. Most members are unhappy with what Macy’s has been offering.

With the vote taken, the union will consider all its options and continue fighting for a contract that treats workers fairly.