NEW YORK (PIX11)—
About 4,000 Macy’s workers inNew York City and Westchester County are threatening to strike if they do not receive a new contract by midnight on Wednesday, said a union spokesperson.
The contract under debate covers four Macy’s stores inBronx, Queens, Westchester, and the flagship Herald Square location in Manhattan. The workers are demanding fairer wages, benefits and hours.
The unionized workers’ officials said Macy’s is trying to implement a new scheduling system that would cut down hours for employees. However, the system is already in place in multiple other Macy’s stores throughout the country. Macy’s is also trying to increase health-care costs and eliminate pension benefits for new incoming workers, said officials.
“They want to take away money from workers at time when working people need all the support they can get,” said Stuart Appelbaum, the President of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) during a Herald Square rally last Wednesday.
But Macy’s spokeswoman, Elina Kazan, countered, “We have offered union wage and benefits programs that will positively impact the lives of our associates, and will be among the best at department stores in New York City and across the country.”
“No one wants to strike. We all want to secure a new contract,” said Ken Bordieri, president of Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, “But our workers are prepared to strike.”
“The workers are serious, and they’re willing to walk out and stand up for fair wages and benefits and hour if pushed,” said Dan Morris, spokesperson for the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
Macy’s placed on ad on Sunday in The New York Times for temporary sales associates “in anticipation of a possible labor dispute.”
If the strike happens, it will be the first one for Macy’s since 1972.