July 15, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Workers at four Guitar Center stores sounded a loud power chord for labor rights July 11, when they unanimously ratified their first union contract.
The three-year deal will give guaranteed base wage increases and access to union-provided health insurance to more than 100 workers at stores in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and the Boston suburb of Danvers, the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union said in a statement. “The contract that was ratified tonight wrote the songbook for workers in the retail music industry,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said. “Workers from all four stores fought to ensure the voices of their over 100 coworkers were heard—and the company listened.” The union began trying to organize workers at the chain’s more than 280 stores in 2013, and the National Labor Relations Board found the company guilty of several union-busting charges last November. The RWDSU campaign gained support from a MoveOn.org petition signed by musicians including Kathleen Hanna, Tom Morello, Roger Waters, and Steve Earle. Read more
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