Building on a year of great momentum in the retail sector, workers in two beautiful Canadian provinces have unionized, choosing to unite in order to collectively self-advocate. Workers at the IGA grocery store in Surrey, British Columbia have voted to join UFCW Local 1518. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, workers at Staples have also organized, joining UFCW Local 832.
Hello. I have been working at Staples for a few months at Copy & Print and, I, CANNOT, BELIEVE, HOW, OVERWORKED, THE, EMPLOYEES, ARE, myself now included.
I am pressured to complete a myriad of jobs such that I DO NOT TAKE 15 MINUTE BREAKS. You heard me right, I DO NOT TAKE 15 MINUTE BREAKS. I can’t believe I am writing this. I thought I was one of those people who would never cave to the *** that are corporations, but the pressure is immense. With no proper training in the Copy & Print Center (lucky for them, I am a hard-on-my-luck university graduate who is technology/computer savvy and thus caught on quickly) I am left by myself for hours to complete time-consuming orders all while attending to a line of 3-6 customers with varying degrees of order-difficulty and pleasantness of attitude.
I do not take 15 minute breaks because when I do, I come back and the clueless managers covering my break have effed everything up, from outright closing/deleting projects I am working on in the MPS, to taking orders that do not make sense and leaving them for us to figure out, with no reference to who took the actual order. 15 minutes of break are 15 minutes that I get behind and increases the possibility by 200% that I will have angry customers coming in within the next two hours screaming at me because I have not completed their orders. And there is no one to save me while I am there. It is WORKWORKWORKTAKESHITFROMCUSTOMERSWORKWORKSTARVEWORKSWEATWORK. With so much work, I lose track of time, don’t remember to take breaks. The Copy Center is so disorganized because they only have 4 employees working it part-time each which is equal to only 2 full-time employees working a busy-as-shet Copy Center for all the hours the store is open. Can you imagine that? I am constantly having to stay and extra 10 or 15 minutes after I clock out to explain to my coworkers the mess of pending orders.
I have worked retail for more than 5 years in addition to these 2 months that I have working at Staples, and I HAVE NEVER been yelled at by so many customers as I have in these past two months even though I do my job to my human limit.
So, do I want a UNION? YES!!! I want an effing union. I don’t want a lame-azz union either. I want a worker-controlled, direct-action oriented, no-bull union. In fact, I want Staples to be organized by the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World, the only union with any real legitimacy. In fact, the union dues for the IWW are only $9/month for part-time employees.
I feel like crap about myself. I never thought I would let myself be rag-dolled by a effing corporation, but god those a$$holes are good at what they do, exploit workers and make themselves money.
I need to find a better job, but workers around the world, let’s fight back!