Sweet Smell: Union Can Organize Cosmetic, Fragrance Department Employees at Macy’s

Unions scored a victory last week in their efforts to organize smaller groups of employees into separate bargaining units.

Forty one employees in the fragrance and cosmetics department at a Macy’s store in Saugus, Massachusetts can comprise a bargaining unit under the National Labor Relations Act,  the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week.

The board majority said that the workers shared “a community of interest” to be recognized for bargaining purposes, and that Macy’s hadn’t shown that they should be grouped with other employees in the store.

Macy’s and other retailers fought against recognition of these micro groups of workers and prefer that the entire store be recognized as one bargaining unit.

But the 3-1 board majority sided with the United Food and Commercial Workers, citing a 2011 board ruling, Specialty Healthcare, in which the board ruled that a union could try organizing a group that consisted only of nursing assistants at a long-term care facility.

You can access the full text of the board’s ruling here.


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