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May 24, 2016

Babeland Employees Vote To Unionize In New York Locations

NEW YORK—More than two dozens employees at three New York locations of adult boutique Babeland voted earlier this month to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. By a vote of 21-4, the workers voted to join the RWDSU, which was chartered by the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1937. The workers, many of whom spoke to The New York Times about the May 20 vote, said they decided to unionize in an effort to address a number of wage and training issues, including dealing with “problematic customers,” such as those who threaten or harass employees “This is the only adult sex shop that is organized,” Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the retail union, told the Times. “And I think that’s significant.” Babeland was founded in Seattle in 1993 by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning. Employees at the Seattle location did not participate in the union vote. Cavanah spoke to the Times about the vote and noted Babeland management was not aware of some issues presented by the workers, but has been actively working on others for the past year, including raising the starting minimum wage from $12 to $14 for New York City employees.  “I guess it was a little bit too late for the staff,” Cavanah told the Times. For the complete report, visit NewYorkTimes.com.

 
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