REI workers have demands from their employer

REI_Hiker_Peeps

Apparently working at REI causes you to be in tears, is a terrible hardship, and causes grim circumstances, panic and distress. If that was my condition, I’d be looking for another job. But millennial activists today take a different approach: start an online public petition with demands from your employer.

Excerpts of their petition of demands from coworker.org:

End Hardship For REI’s Working-Class Heroes!

To: Jerry Stritzke, REI President and CEO

REI retail employees with the support of over 6 million REI members, are calling on REI to eliminate the widespread hardship that exists for its retail workers. We are asking that REI be a leader in the retail industry by providing its dedicated retail workforce the following benefits: guaranteed stable hours, more full-time opportunity, a sustainable living wage and three week advance notice of schedules.

We are part-time retail employees who work for one of the most reputable outdoor retailers and cooperatives in the country, Recreational Equipment, Inc. REI is known not only for its remarkable stewardship of the outdoors, but also for its down to earth image as a retailer that ‘authentically’ values its people—an image REI prides itself on and one which distinguishes the co-op from other large scale retailers. The truth of the matter is that a huge number of us are struggling with considerable hardship. We have tried to address our grim circumstances internally, but our corporate leaders and store mangers (sic) have turned a blind eye to our outcries.

Although REI has enjoyed record profits for the last 3 years, hardship has become a way of life for most of us. One of the primary causes for our hardship are the irregular hours we are subject to—ranging from 4 hours to 30 to 12 hours a week (or none at all)—making it nearly impossible for most of us to make ends meet.

Another contributing factor is the lack of full-time opportunity that exists for REI’s retail employees. Very few store workers actually work full-time. For instance, in a store that is staffed with nearly 200 workers, only about 14 of these workers (outside of management positions) are guaranteed full-time hours. For the rest of us, we are at the mercy of REI’s frequent payroll cutbacks and its variable scheduling practices. None of REI’s part-time employees are guaranteed hours—not even 4 hours a week—because that is REI’s store policy.

To exacerbate matters, employees are negatively impacted when REI hires more part-time workers during seasonal upswings in business, even though there are plenty of existing workers who are not getting enough hours.

REI’s reluctance to make this commitment to its workforce, also impacts the few meaningful benefits that we could be eligible for, like health insurance. While REI boasts it offers health insurance to its part-time workforce, only employees who work a rolling average of 20 hours a week can receive it.

As a united voice, we are demanding that REI make a commitment to its employees by giving us stable hours, offering us more full-time opportunity and putting an end to the practice of over-staffing its stores with so many part-time employees—that hardly any of us can get the hours we need to make ends meet.

In addition, it is imperative that REI addresses our low wages. In light that we were told part-time employees would not be eligible for a Living Wage, our hardship is a testament that one is needed. When most REI part-time employees are starting at a wage of just over $10 an hour and it will take an estimated 20 years to earn a Living Wage, REI is not doing enough to provide for the well-being of its employees.

Finally, part-time employees are requesting 3 weeks advance scheduling notice from the store managers who are responsible for scheduling. Typically employees receive a one weeks (sic) notice and this is not nearly enough time for those employees who need to plan for daycare, a second job, or school.

We believe no REI employee should have to take desperate measures in order to survive their jobs at the REI Co-op. When employees are seeking emergency assistance from state and federal funded programs like food stamps, donating plasma to blood banks, participating in risky pharmaceutical experiments, living off credit cards and student loans, selling off their belongings or relying on loving parents to bail them out—REI is not doing enough to take care of its workforce. We’re tired of witnessing our colleagues in great despair at work (sometimes to the point of tears), after their hours have been reduced so drastically that they don’t know how they’re going to survive.

To drive our message home, here’s a glimpse into what employees were saying after REI’s extraordinary #OptOutside campaign was announced last year. One employee stated, “I’m glad I’ll have at least one paid day in November (Black Friday).” Others exclaimed: “Are there any of us who can actually afford to get outside to our favorite outdoor spaces on Black Friday?” and “REI expects me to be stoked about #OptOutside, I can’t even afford a turkey for Thanksgiving!” That was our #OptOutside reality when REI’s amazing campaign took media by storm.

#OptInChange for REI’s friendly green-vested ‘Inspired Guides’—The Andersons (the name we’ve adopted in honor of our co-founders, to represent all REI’s working-class heroes). Thank you for your support!

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Read the whole petition here.

DCG

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9 responses to “REI workers have demands from their employer

  1. Ross Blankert

    The schedules and hourly work changes are a direct result of Democratic Party and the Affordable Care Act or what is called ObamaCare. If you wish to change anything, do not elect another Democrat for anything, not even dog catcher.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why is it that every person who works a part time job where the primary responsibility is to stand around and peddle merchandise, feels entitled to higher wages, benefits and corporate bennies? They may be special, but they ain’t that special.

    Coming next….kiosks at REI

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These whiny, self-centered young adults should research why the system is the way it is if they want to have a chance to affect change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “more full-time opportunity, a sustainable living wage”
    um….right….if REI caters to these employees’ demands then REI will simply play unemployment roulette…these people will go from complaining about $10/hour and working irregular hours to receiving unemployment checks with a select few left behind. When they applied for the job, it was posted as part time, now they are complaining that they work part time. if they are so unhappy where they work, they can acquire skills to get a better job or simply find another job.
    It’s a shame we have a generation of young adults who don’t know how to plan or think ahead and use critical thinking skills; they just do as they’re told because it sounds/feels good and never question with reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor widdle babies. They can blame their savior Obama and the Unaffordable Care Act for this. This is happening EVERYWHERE. even nurses and teachers who work part time cannot get benefits, and in many sectors they are hiring part time workers only, and the employment data from the White House does not at all reflect this. Of course if these types are confronted with the truth they just strike back with anger at the truth teller. These types rely on the Huffington Post and Jon Stewart for their news, then think they are little geniuses. Typical of what I call The Barney Generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it started before O-care,when employers realized their company health benefits,paid vacation time,retirement and other benefits either demanded by the employees or mandated by law were breaking them. The easiest solution was to simply cut everybody back to under 30 hrs per week,thus making them ineligible for the benefits. As the work piled up,they’d just hire some more part timers. THEN,along comes Obamacare(less) to hammer the last few nails into the corporate coffin.

      Like

  6. According to Wikipedia, REI’s CEO earned $2.7 million in 2014, proving there’s gold to be mined in phony, posturing, environmental activism and even more from fleecing the kids who work there at coolie wages.

    REI started out selling mostly mountaineering and climbing gear, so I’ve read. I’ve done a fair amount of both and in my experience the worst phonies I’ve ever met are the mountaineering activists–the kind of over-equipped, slow, plodding oafs on a climb who join search and rescue units–who want to regulate every aspect of mountain climbing like the good, leftist apparatchiks they are at heart.

    REI carries great stuff, no question about that, but who it caters to is those, like the mountaineering activists in Washington State, who wish to be mistaken for risk takers when, in fact, they’re climbing with enough gear to turn an otherwise risky sport into a farce. If you can’t guess, I loathe these phonies with a passion and feel just shopping at REI is an insult to real climbers everywhere who don’t head out without a GoPro camera to record staged exploits.

    Like

  7. I’d fire all their whiny asses.

    There are 95 million Americans out of work because of the Nairobian fraud – most of which want to work, but can’t find jobs.

    I bet the sniveling little spoiled crybabies could be replaced inside of three days.

    -Dave

    Like

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