Unionised workers at eight retail stores belonging to camping and outdoor sports equipment retailer REI have accused the company of violating US labour law since 2022.
A total of 80 complaints were filed with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by workers unionised with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
The workers accused the retailer of engaging in anti-union behaviour and retaliatory actions such as changes to work schedules, disciplinary practices and firings.
The filing comes a month after employees at REI stores in Chicago, Boston and Minnesota staged walkouts in response to the layoffs and changes to working conditions.
REI Berkeley Bike and Snow Shop senior mechanic Clare Davis said: “Today, unionised REI workers from across the country stood up and said enough is enough.
“Current leadership has abandoned the vision of the founders who truly lived REI’s progressive values and love for the outdoors. The workers at REI are keeping that vision alive with our hard work, expertise, community service and yes, by forming a union. Despite the onslaught of union-busting tactics, we will keep organising and winning elections. When we stand together, we win.”
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Meanwhile, REI clarified that the changes in job titles and work schedules are not related to union organising.
Reuters quoted the retailer as saying: “We are committed and engaged in good-faith bargaining with stores that have chosen union representation and will continue to participate fully in the negotiating process.”
REI operates a network of 188 locations in 42 US states and the District of Columbia.