Dr. Kendra Coulter, a labour studies professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, has launched a new website that seeks to raise awareness of retail workers' struggles while changing public perceptions of the value of retail jobs. Dubbed Revolutionizing Retail, the site notes that "retail work and workers are often socially and economically devalued (and) this needs to change."
"If retail workers unite and take action, and if more Canadians begin to recognize the importance of retail for our economy and society, we can make meaningful changes and revolutionize retail," says Dr. Coulter. "So the webpage is meant to serve as a resource, a news source, an online community, and hopefully, a catalyst for greater awareness, discussion, and action."
The site focuses on retail workers’ leadership and collective action, union and community labour organizing, and public policy and legislative options aimed at improving retail workers' jobs and lives. It also contains information about ongoing campaigns, reports, news stories, and laws regarding retail workers' rights. Two recent posts explain how the Walmart business model affects workers in retail and other sectors, and why the potential foreign takeover of Rona poses a threat to Canada's economy.
So far the webpage has received local, national, and international media coverage and has attracted visitors from all around the world. "It's been exciting to see how much appetite there is for sharing ideas, struggles, and stories from retail," Coulter says. "The number of visitors continues to grow and I sincerely appreciate that retail workers have gotten in touch with me to say thank you, and to share their experiences. Retail workers have been devalued for too long, but change is afoot."
To access the site, visit http://revolutionizingretail.org/.