REI, the tenting and outside sports activities gear retailer, was charged Wednesday with dozens of violations of U.S. labor regulation at eight retail shops which have unionized since final 12 months.
Staff at shops in New York, California, Chicago and Boston, amongst different cities, have filed a complete of 80 complaints with the Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in search of to power the corporate to discount with their unions.
The complaints allege that REI retaliated in opposition to pro-union staff, restructured jobs and altered working circumstances with out enter from unions, in addition to halting bargaining with unions that gained elections at shops.
The works council investigates staff’ complaints earlier than deciding whether or not to file formal instances in opposition to employers. These costs are heard by administrative judges, whose choices might be appealed to the five-member NLRB after which to federal appeals courts.
Sumner, Wash.-based REI, additionally identified by its full title Leisure Tools, stated in an announcement that it disagrees with the allegations within the complaints.
“We’re dedicated to and engaged in negotiating in good religion with shops which have chosen union illustration and can proceed to take part totally within the negotiation course of,” the corporate stated.
The corporate, which has about 180 shops and 15,000 staff throughout the nation, stated latest modifications in job titles and employee schedules don’t have anything to do with union organizing.
The union drive at REI is a part of a nationwide wave of labor organizing that started in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and has included Starbucks baristas, Amazon warehouse staff, staff of a number of online game makers, and retail staff at Apple, amongst others.
Unionized shops are represented by the United Meals and Business Staff Worldwide Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union.
In statements offered by the unions, a number of REI staff stated the corporate’s actions violated their rights to freely select union illustration.
“As a substitute of recognizing our collective voice and proper to type a union, we confronted sturdy opposition from administration within the type of retaliation, misinformation, and disrespect for fundamental labor regulation,” stated Annie Saludo, a gross sales specialist at an REI retailer in Durham. , North Carolina.
The complaints come after staff of REI shops in Chicago, Boston and Minnesota staged strikes final month to protest layoffs and modifications to working circumstances.