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Currency Workers Vote for Change With RWDSU

category north america / mexico | economy | non-anarchist press author Monday June 15, 2015 19:33author by Stephanie Basile - RWDSUauthor email sbasile at rwdsu dot orgauthor address 30 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016author phone 212-684-5300 Report this post to the editors

NYC Change Group workers become first in US to unionize

Change Group workers endured an intense union busting campaign to win their election 17-2. They are now about to engage in a contract fight with the company.

Workers at Change Group, a foreign currency and tourist services company, recently voted overwhelmingly to join the RWDSU. Change Group, a global company which is based in London, has six locations in Manhattan. Workers at all six Manhattan locations are now union and will be represented by RWDSU Local 1102.

"I've worked for The Change Group for two years, and I have to say - the day we won the vote to have RWDSU as our union was the first time I felt safe at work," says employee Shanole Solomon, 26. "It was the first time I felt like we had someone on our side."

Workers first contacted the RWDSU earlier this year to discuss concerns around disrespect, scheduling, job security, and workplace safety and health. One of the driving issues for many workers was when the company unilaterally decided to bar all NYC employees from attending school. Workers were shocked that the company would attempt to dictate what they could do on their own time, especially when it came to pursuing their education.

Workers went public with their union campaign in late April via a letter sent from the union to the CEO demanding that the company recognize the union. Instead of respecting its workers desire to unionize, the company chose to delay things through the NLRB election process in an attempt to buy themselves time to bust the union.

The company hired union buster Russ Brown of Russ Brown Associates to run a campaign of misinformation and emotional manipulation in an attempt to convince workers to vote down the union. Change Group required each employee to attend a minimum of three meetings alone in a room with Brown, and a fourth meeting with Brown and the CEO. The company also sent anti-union letters to workers' homes.

In spite of the company's aggressive anti-union tactics, workers stayed strong and saw victory. Workers now look forward to sticking together and staying united as they fight for a union contract.

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