Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Good Start

As City Room blog reported, the workers at H&M are going to have the protection and security of union representation: "More than 1,000 employees at nine H&M stores in Manhattan will receive wage increases and other benefits in their first-ever union contract. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents the workers, announced on Tuesday that the contract was ratified last Friday. The union organized clerks, cashiers and other workers at the Manhattan outlets of the Swedish clothing retailer in November 2007."

This is especially heartening considering the bleak economic that we're in. As Local 1102's president told City Room: “At a time when retail workers are taking it on the chin it’s great to win an agreement that’s going to mean higher wages and an even better working environment for H&M workers and their families,” said Frank Bail, president of Local 1102 of the union. The three-year contract provides a 3 percent wage increase in the first year, with wage re-openers in the second and third years An additional merit-based increase is included in each year of the contract."

Let's hope this is a sign of things to come; and, hopefully, new retail developments in the city will only come through with the assurance that retail workers won't be shafted by subsidy taking friends of the mayor. The jury's out on that front.