Shopping Mauled

Workers claim Macy's engineered anti-union vote

"The bottom line is that we shared information with the employees that they needed to have before they voted," said Joseph Vella, vice president of employee relations for Federated Department Stores. "We urged everyone to vote and said we'd respect their decision. They made that decision 4-1."

Vella acknowledged that Bradshaw has handled labor matters for Macy's West for more than 20 years, but he denied that the company's pre-election campaign was responsible for intimidating workers into voting against the union. "The vote speaks for itself," Vella said. "You don't see that kind of margin pretty often. It's pretty resounding."

"The results [of the election] were not favorable, but we still look at it as a victory for the workers," said Eiden. "This was an 11-month campaign by the workers at Macy's to achieve a union election. It cleared a lot of hurdles." That said, Eiden believes the UFCW's defeat won't end worker frustration at Macy's or in the retail industry as a whole. "There is still a high level of dissatisfaction in the retail industry," he said. "I think you're going to see an increasing number of workers demanding representation."

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