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Breaking REI Union News

REI Union Rallies in Ithaca, NY at New Store Opening

July 1st, 2024 — REI Co-op members and community supporters gathered Saturday, June 29th on the weekend of the grand opening for their new store in Ithaca, New York. 

Supporters heard stories from our union coworkers as well as from elected officials and others who joined us to call on REI to remain neutral, should green vests at the REI Ithaca location choose to organize. Furthermore, they demanded that REI ditch their consistent pattern of union busting and begin negotiating in good faith with their workers at union stores to settle contracts before the end of this year. 

Read more about the rally and our community demands at the Ithaca Times.

REI Green Vests Take Action Across Union Stores During REI’s Biggest Sale of the Year​​

From May 17th - 27th, unionized REI workers across the country rallied, leafleted Co-op members, and went on ULP strike to amplify their continued demands for a fair union contract by the end of 2024. 


Hundreds of REI members, shoppers, elected officials, and community supporters stopped by these actions to show solidarity for green vests and their fight for a strong deal. Read more about a few of these actions below:

REI Castleton Rallies with Community Figures

REI Bellingham Goes on ULP Strike Saturday, May 25th

SoHo Green Vests Stage Rally with Labor Groups Outside Flagship Store

REI Cleveland Workers Rally Alongside Politicians for a Fair Contract

Green Vests in Chicago Walk Out on ULP Strike and Shut Down Store


REI Santa Cruz Wins Union Election​​

April 19th 2024 — REI workers in Santa Cruz, California voted 33 to 12 to unionize with UFCW Local 5 this Thursday. The workers in Santa Cruz filed for their election in March and will become the 10th REI store to win their election to join the REI Union movement. They will also become the second REI Co-op store to be represented in the Bay Area, alongside REI Berkeley.


In public statements from workers at the store, green vests voiced their excitement to win and move onto the next step of building their first union contract.

A Growing Union Campaign Has Put REI's Progressive Image On Trial

March 16th 2024 — HUFFPOST: REI workers from stores around the country showed up uninvited at their corporate office in Issaquah, Washington, last Friday. The signs they were carrying made it clear to the white-collar employees looking down from the windows above that they weren’t there to tour the campus.

Plenty of REI’s devoted customers ― “members,” in company parlance, since REI is structured as a cooperative ― would have been surprised to see disaffected employees protesting such a beloved retailer. But a growing union campaign that has so far organized nine stores and counting is testing the progressive reputation that REI built through its environmental and conservation advocacy over the years.

Workers who are trying to improve their jobs through a union contract say the cooperative is failing to live up to its values and damaging its reputation in the process.

Read the Full Article Here

REI Workers File for Union Election in Santa Cruz, CA​​

March 14th 2024 — SANTA CRUZ, CA: - Today, REI workers at the Santa Cruz location filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, registering their intent to join United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 5. The location would be the 2nd REI store in the Bay Area and the 10th REI store nationwide to unionize for fair pay, sustainable schedule practices, and better working conditions.

Truitt Archibald (he/him), REI Sales Specialist at the Santa Cruz store, said the following: "Today. I'm proud to stand with my coworkers and take this first step towards a better REI for workers, consumers, and the larger outdoor community. As green vest, it's our hard work and expertise that make REI the brand that it is. We deserve the compensation respect, and safer working conditions that only a union contract can guarantee. I feel honored to join this growing movement."​

Read the Full Press Release from UFCW Local 5 Here

REI Workers to March to Headquarters

March 7th, 2024 — ISSAQUAH, WA - REI employees from the company’s nine unionized stores around the country, including in Boston, plan to hike from a park in Issaquah, Wash., to REI headquarters Thursday afternoon to demand that executives come to the table and bargain in good faith.


Over the past two weeks, union members have held events in the nine communities where they’re organized to unveil a national platform demanding job security, guaranteed minimum hours, a consistent sick policy, and minimum staffing levels. Bargaining for a first contract has been dragging on for as long as two years at the Soho location in New York, the first store to organize. When REI changed its legal representation a year into negotiations, the unions said, the company rolled back an agreement to give workers there the same pay increases offered to non-union stores the day after the union election.


In November, in the first coordinated effort among all the REI union employees, who are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the workers filed 80 unfair labor practice charges against the company for bargaining in bad faith and engaging in anti-union behavior.

Read the Full Article Here

REI Castleton location becomes 9th store to unionize

February 12th 2024 — INDIANAPOLIS - Workers at a Castleton REI store in Indianapolis won their union election by a 27-17 vote Friday, joining a young national union collective and becoming the ninth store of the outdoors retailer to unionize.

Workers are demanding consistent hours, competitive wages adjusted for inflation, improved communication as well as healthcare, parental leave and PTO adjustments in their move to unionize.

“An overwhelming number of us voted in favor of unionizing, and we can’t wait to make REI Castleton a better place for everyone,” the national collective posted on social media. “Here’s to forging a stronger Co-op alongside our union siblings nationwide.”

Read the Full Article Here

REI accused of widespread labor law violations at unionized US stores

November 15th 2023 — REUTERS: REI, the camping and outdoor sports equipment retailer, was accused on Wednesday of dozens of violations of U.S. labor law at eight retail stores that have unionized since last year.

Workers at stores in New York, California, Chicago and Boston, among others, filed a total of 80 complaints with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to force the company to bargain with their unions.

The complaints claim that REI has retaliated against pro-union workers, restructured jobs and changed working conditions without input from the unions, as well as stalled bargaining with unions that won elections at the stores.

Read the Full Article at Reuters

REI Workers Take Nationwide Legal Action Against Employer

REI Gets Hit with 80 Federal Labor Charges Showing Pattern of Egregious and Pervasive Anti-Worker Behavior

November 15th 2023 — Washington, D.C. – Today, unionized REI workers with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), filed coordinated, nationwide unfair labor practice charges against their employer, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), over the company’s bad faith bargaining practices and unilateral workplace changes that show a pattern of egregious anti-union behavior, emotional manipulation, and retaliatory actions against workers, such as firings, changes to work schedules, and disciplinary practices. Workers from all eight unionized REI locations filed charges with their regional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) offices. 

Clare Davis, (She/Her), a Bike and Snow Shop Senior Mechanic at the Berkeley, Calif. REI said the following: 

“Today, unionized REI workers from across the country stood up and said enough is enough. We will not sit by as management systematically spreads misinformation, subjects employees to emotional manipulation, and commits clear violations of federal labor law. Current leadership has abandoned the vision of the founders who truly lived REI’s progressive values and love for the outdoors. The workers at REI are keeping that vision alive with our hard work, expertise, community service, and yes, by forming a union. Despite the onslaught of union-busting tactics, we will keep organizing and winning elections. When we stand together, we win.”

Read the Full Press Release Here

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