Saturday, April 26, 2008

Strike authorized at Bloomingdales

800pxbloomingdalesAccording to an AP story printed in New York's Newsday,

Workers have authorized a strike at Bloomingdale's flagship 59th St. store, which could lead to the first shutdown at the famed shopping destination in more than four decades.

A spokeswoman for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said talks were continuing, but the 2,000 workers at the store have authorized a walkout if a contract dispute is not resolved by Thursday.

Bloomingdale's spokesman David Ender said negotiations have been “mutually respectful,” and that the company expects an agreement before the contract expires Wednesday evening.

Union spokeswoman Carolyn Daly said the union and management are split over health care coverage and raises.
Negotiations began in February, and the contract was extended until Thursday.

Daly said no date has been set for a walkout.

The walkout, if it happens will only be at Bloomingdale's 59th Street store, near Central Park, and not at any of the other 36 stores across the country.

Bloomingdales is owned by Macy's (which used to be called Federated Department Stores before it bought Macy's). Macy's also owns Filene's and the May Department Stores. For an interesting article on the size of this behemoth of a department store company and its effects on prices, see my friend Mark Bauer's article, Give the Lady What She Wants--As Long as It's Macy's. It would be interesting to see what effects this consolidation of department stores has had on employment, as well.


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