The Retail Action Network is a new project in Victoria that brings together retail workers and labour activists in an effort to turn the tide in the relationship between workers and their employers in the service sector.
Retail and service sector work is undervalued in comparison to other industries in our community, with consistently low wages, an absence of benefits and a lack of job security. The number of people employed in this industry is steadily increasing, and these workers are often left without an organized voice to fight for justice, dignity, and improved conditions in the workplace.
Service sector workers are left to wait for minimal, incremental wage increases, or the simple benevolence of an ever-rotating roster of store managers. This is simply not good enough. The landscape of working life, particularly in retail, has changed, and workers need to adjust tactics and organizing strategies.
The Retail Action Network will organize campaigns focusing on winning victories for individual workers who have been mistreated by their employer, as well as pushing for changes to policies within individual workplaces. We will, in short, take the fight directly to the boss’ desk. Non-unionized workers will have the chance to be part of collective direct actions and experience the clear benefits of working together to overcome mistreatment at work. We believe this project will be instrumental in mobilizing a workers’ movement.
All of us at the Retail Acton Network are excited to make new gains for Victoria’s retail and service sector workers. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved, know of any lousy employers, or want to offer suggestions for this new project.
Eric Nordal is the project coordinator for the Retail Action Network. You can get in touch with him at Eric@RetailAction.ca or by phone at 250-812-3724.