California, November 15, 2023 – Renowned outdoor equipment retailer, REI, is in the midst of controversy, grappling with numerous allegations of labor law violations in eight of its unionized stores since last year.
Employees from stores in New York, California, Chicago, Boston, and other locations have filed 80 complaints with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to compel the company to negotiate with the unions.
The accusations assert that REI has retaliated against workers supporting the union, conducted labor restructurings, and altered working conditions without proper union consultation. Additionally, it is claimed that the company has delayed negotiations with unions that previously won elections in the stores.
The Labor Board is investigating the complaints regarding REI’s labor violations and will determine whether formal proceedings against the company will be initiated. These allegations will be evaluated by administrative judges, and their decisions may be appealed to the NLRB’s five members and subsequently to federal appellate courts.
Headquartered in Sumner, Washington, and also known as Recreational Equipment Inc, REI responded to the accusations through a statement, expressing disagreement with the claims made in the complaints.
The company stated: “We are committed and engage in good faith negotiations with stores that have chosen union representation, and we will continue to participate in the negotiation process fully.”
The company, with approximately 180 stores and 15,000 employees nationwide, has asserted that recent changes in job titles and work schedules are not connected to unionization.