UNITE! members and their supporters will leaflet local Gucci stores as part of a week of international demonstrations to demand justice for employees of French conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR). This week, demonstrations have taken place outside Gucci stores in cities across the United States, Canada and Europe. UNITE! (the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees) is calling on Gucci parent PPR to end its campaign of harassment and intimidation against workers at PPR's Brylane distribution center in Indianapolis, Indiana where employees have been trying to form a union for several months.
UNITE! and their supporters will take their message that "Having a union is not a luxury" to the Gucci Store, 685 5th Avenue (at 54th Street), at noon on Friday, May 3rd.
"During the last week, thousands of PPR workers and supporters around the world have been demonstrating at Gucci stores in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Germany, France, the U.K., Canada and the USA to tell PPR to respect workers rights," said Bruce Raynor, President of UNITE!.
Melody Purvis, a Brylane employee fired due to work-related injuries, held a sign at a Chicago Gucci protest that read, "That Gucci bag costs more than I make in a week!"
President Raynor emphasized, "It is wrong for this company to peddle luxury goods like Gucci handbags while denying the right to a union to hard working people at Brylane." He continued, "Having a union is not a luxury."
Gucci is owned by the French multi-national conglomerate PPR. Brylane, also owned by PPR, is one of America's leading catalog retailers with over $1.6 billion in sales. Brylane markets and distributes apparel and home furnishings for nine mail order catalogs. Approximately 1,000 employees at the Brylane facilities in Indianapolis, IN and two smaller facilities in Plainfield, IN have been working to unionize with UNITE! since October 2001.
UNITE! is a member of the AFL-CIO and has over 250,000 members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. UNITE! represents over 30,000 distribution center workers in over 120 distribution centers such as: Chadwick's of Boston, TJ Maxx, Levis Strauss, Xerox, and Federated.
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