April 22, 2024 11:39 am

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Macy’s workers launch strike on Black Friday at Alderwood Mall

Macy’s workers strike on Black Friday | Lynnwood Times YouTube Channel

LYNNWOOD, Wash., November 25, 2023—More than four hundred Macy’s workers began picketing on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, at Alderwood, Southcenter and Bellis Fair Macy’s stores.

On October 6, Macy’s workers voted nearly unanimously at 96% to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike if the billion-dollar retail juggernaut fails to offer substantial improvements during contract negotiations. Macy’s reported revenue of $25 billion in 2022 with a net income of $1.177 billion after all expenditures. For 2022, the company reported similar figures. It is projecting net sales for 2023 between $22.9 to $23.2 billion.

“We are out here protesting because we want a fair wage, more affordable healthcare, and we want safety,” Mary Stevens, a 14-year Macy’s sales associate at Alderwood Mall told the Lynnwood Times.

Macy’s strike
Macy’s workers strike on Black Friday at Alderwood Mall. Lynnwood Limes | Mario Lotmore

UFCW 3000 workers at Macy’s say the corporation is not doing enough to address shoplifting, violent shoppers, and other safety threats to workers and customers.

When Liisa Luick, a Macy’s Alderwood sales associate in the Macy’s Men’s Department, witnessed someone shoplifting she called Macy’s managers and then mall security. But they refused to help. So, she called 911, to protect Macy’s, her customers, and herself. Macy’s immediately disciplined Luick for calling 911, putting her on unpaid leave for more than 2 weeks. She eventually was provided her back pay.

UFCW Local 3000 filed an unfair labor practice charge against Macy’s for disciplining Luick because their actions were in relation to her involvement in union activities. 

According to Macy’s policies, an employee is to call a loss prevention officer instead of 9-1-1 if they witness theft. However, employees informed us that loss prevention officers are simply overwhelmed and are unable to respond to every incident.

“For the longest time we didn’t have enough Assest Protection [personnel] in the store,” Kaleen told the Lynnwood Times. “There are a good amount of times we don’t have any on the store and no response just because there are so many thieves in the store.”

She shared how one of their female coworkers was “beat up” by three visitors to the mall and workers stood by afraid to call 911 for the fear of being fired.

Lynnwood City Councilman George Hurst joined Macy’s workers on their strike for better wages and a safe working environment. He shared with the Lynnwood Times that Macy’s policy discouraging employees to call 9-1-1 is of great concern.

Macy’s strike
Lynnwood Councilman George Hurst with Macy’s workers on Black Friday at Alderwood Mall. Lynnwood Limes | Mario Lotmore

“We just had a business roundtable at the city council with the police department and other businesses and the police department kept on saying, if something happens, ‘we need to know, we need you to call us,'” Hurst said. “I am listening now that actually Macy’s discourages their employees from calling 911; that’s exactly what the Lynnwood Police Department wants, to have those calls so they can understand what’s happening in the area…that is a big concern.”

All of the employees we spoke with work at the Alderwood Mall Macy’s store and love their job. They hope Macy’s and Union can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

UFCW Local 3000 has also filed charges against Macy’s for allegedly violating union members’ contractual rights to speak to other members on the sales floor, surveillance of union members, and engaging in bad faith bargaining. More than 14,700 shoppers have already signed the pledge to respect striking Macy’s workers. 

Macy’s workers will picket over the weekend and will continue their strike each weekend until an agreement is reached.

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