H&M and UFCW Voluntary Recognition Agreement

Workers at six New York City-area H&M stores, owned by a Sweden-based clothing retailer, won a two-month union-organizing campaign after their employer didn’t demand a secret-ballot election.

The UFCW will represent 240 sales clerks at H&M stores in Queens, Brooklyn, West Nyack, White Plains, Yonkers and Staten Island, all in New York. They join about 1,200 New York H&M workers, most based in Manhattan, already in the UFCW.

H&M, owned by Stockholm-based Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB), the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, accepted the union’s bid for representation after workers turned in union cards.

According to UFCW organizers and activists, H&M workers wanted to unionize because of dissatisfaction with the retail industry, not their company, and because they wanted a more stable schedule, better job security, and better pay and health care.

“Workers are making retail jobs into good long-term retail careers,” said Tom Plumb, director of the retail stores division of the UFCW.

H&M is one of the world’s leading retailers with over 2,300 stores in 41 countries, including Canada where the successful fashion company operates 56 locations in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.