No Strike For Macy’s In NY After Company Reaches Deal With Workers’ Union

Image courtesy of kaleidoscopist

Macy’s hasn’t had to face a workers’ strike since 1972, and it looks like that streak won’t be broken, now that the company and the union representing thousands of workers in the New York City area have reached a tentative deal.

Union leaders had until midnight Thursday to agree on a new contract for workers at four locations in New York State, including Macy’s flagship location in Manhattan. The deal was born in late-night talks between the two sides, the New York Times reports.

One of the biggest issues on the table for workers and labor organizers was the price of health care coverage, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, told the NYT, saying that more than 75% of Macy’s workers couldn’t afford the company’s health insurance. The deductible was $3,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a family, he added.

At $3,000 for an individual’s deductible and $6,000 for a family, “The premiums are just too high for people,” Appelbaum told the NYT.

Other issues included higher wages and changes to Macy’s current commission policy, that says if a customer returns something, the employee’s commission is reversed. Union leaders wanted Macy’s to tighten the windows in which merchandise returns trigger that reverse commission effect, thus lowering a worker’s paycheck.

Details of the deal weren’t available Thursday morning, but the union says it expects its workers to ratify the agreement within a week.

“We are pleased with the outcome of our overnight negotiations and happy to report that a tentative agreement between Macy’s and Local 1-S for our workers has been reached, therefore averting a possible strike today,” a Macy’s spokeswoman told the NYT, referring to the chapter of the retail union that represents Macy’s workers.

Macy’s and Union Have a Deal, Averting a Strike [New York Times]