From the RWDSU:
Yesterday, workers at Dylan’s Candy Bar joined community allies and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) to speak out about the conditions at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Workers have recently called attention to health and safety concerns, and, in addition to OSHA claims, workers filed complaints with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, reporting concerns over food safety issues.
“On multiple occasions, I have seen moldy strawberries stored in the Café refrigerator that are used for customers’ consumption in the store’s chocolate fountain,” said David Oscos, Café Associate at Dylan’s Candy Bar. “I’ve observed Company management instruct Associates to cut off the moldy parts of strawberries or to remove moldy strawberries from the package and use the remaining ones to serve to customers.”
Owned by Dylan Lauren, daughter of famous fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan’s Candy Bar is the largest unique candy store in the world, with $25 million estimated in annual sales, and is widely considered a ‘required stop’ for celebrities visiting NYC, such as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Katie Holmes, Janet Jackson, and Madonna.
In addition to complaints about health and safety issues, some workers at Dylan’s Candy Bar had their hours cut and were reassigned to less desirable work assignments when speaking out for better working conditions, according to a complaint filed by the union with the National Labor Relations Board, which is investigating the charge.
“Unsanitary food being served, cutting workers hours and not paying these workers a decent wage are examples of how this company mistreats its customers and workers,” said Phil Andrews, director of Retail Organizing at RWDSU. “Specifically, the lack of actions to improve health concerns raised by the workers pose potential risks to workers and consumers, which is why we are here to speak out about these unfair conditions.”
“We feel as though managers’ attitude towards some of the sanitary issues mirrors their attitude towards us: they don’t about our voice and our concerns, just about the bottom line,” said Phil Arnone, Sales Associate at Dylan’s Candy Bar.
Workers started an online petition earlier this year and have held multiple rallies and protests at the store calling on Dylan Lauren to meet with her workers to address unfair working conditions.
# # #
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members in the United States. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). For more information, please visit our website at www.rwdsu.org.