This week, workers at Unique Thrift in the Bronx, New York, voted to join the RWDSU/UFCW. All 64 workers at the Bronx store will be part of the bargaining unit. The workers who sort through the donated goods and staff the Unique Thrift stores in the Bronx, and other parts of New York and New Jersey are speaking out about their working conditions. Workers are paid low wages, receive no paid sick days or vacations, are verbally abused by managers and are often hurt on the job.
“As a single mom living in New York City, it is extremely difficult to survive off $7.50 an hour,” said Joanna Carrillo, Unique Thrift employee. “I was proud to vote yes to join the RWDSU because we deserve respect, better wages, and basic benefits such as health care and paid time off.”
Unique Thrift is a for profit thrift store which contracts with the Lupus Foundation. The company solicits donations in the name of the Lupus Foundation, sells the clothes for profit and sends the charity a comparatively small contribution.