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Macy's strike 'could happen at any time,' union says

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Employees at Macy's are preparing for a possible strike.

The union representing workers at the department store chain's locations in Warwick and several Massachusetts communities voted Sunday to authorize a strike.

Jim Ronayne, the secretary-treasurer for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445, told Eyewitness News the union is primarily concerned with caps on wages and the cost of health insurance. 

UFCW Local 1445 represents approximately 1,000 Macy's employees at stores in Warwick, Downtown Boston, Braintree, Natick, and Peabody. The employees' contract expired in February, according to Ronayne. 

"A strike could happen at any time," he said.

In a statement emailed to Eyewitness News, a spokesperson for Macy's said, "Macy's is dedicated to making life shine brighter through service to our customers, our colleagues and our communities. For our valued colleagues, we believe that Macy's offers a great work environment with fair pay and good benefits."

"We continue to bargain with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 in good faith and remain committed to the process in the pursuit of an agreement that is fair to all parties. Our goal is to reach a deal with no work stoppage," the statement concluded.

UFCW Local 1445 also represents Stop & Shop employees who went on strike for more than a week in April before agreeing to a contract with the grocery chain.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.


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