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RWDSU: Protect Retail Workers on Black Friday

The union is asking customers to take safety measures to prevent retail workers from getting sick

Brian Young's picture
Nov 23, 2020

With Thanksgiving here and the biggest shopping weekend of the year right behind it, union officials are worried that a rush of customers into stores on Black Friday could put workers at risk. Yet at the same time, the unions don’t want to discourage shoppers from coming in and putting their members' jobs on the line.

To keep their members safe the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store (RWDSU) put out the following statement asking shoppers to follow these simple steps to keep everyone safe and healthy during the holiday season.

“Retail workers experience heightened stress and pressure during the holiday season, even in normal times. However, this year that stress is exponentially increased because of the serious health and safety risks resulting from the pandemic. Workers are in public-facing jobs; and they interact with larger numbers of customers during the holiday season, risking their own exposure to COVID-19 as well as possibly bringing it home to their families. Customers can limit the exposure workers face by

  • wearing a mask at all times while shopping
  • sanitizing their hands before and after entering a store
  • staying 6-feet apart from workers and other customers
  • most importantly treating workers with dignity and respect while they shop.

This holiday season, retail workers need customers to do everything they can to help keep everybody safe,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

When you’re in a rush to get that great deal on Friday, remember the retail worker who got up early on the day after Thanksgiving and is putting their health on the line to help you. So put on your mask, socially distance yourself, and don’t go out shopping if you are feeling sick. Following these steps will help make sure that you and the retail workers are able to enjoy their holidays and not spend them sick or in the hospital.

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