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Stee-rike: Bloomingdale's Braces for Walkout

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[Photo via Flickr/Joe Architect]

Things are looking grim on 59th Street. If negotiations between Bloomingdale's execs and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union aren't completed by this Thursday, thousands of Bloomingdale's 59th Street workers will strike outside the store. The unionized staff's demands: lower health care costs and guaranteed pay raises. The store, which hasn't seen a strike since 1965, won't necessarily close if there's a walk out. According to Bloomingdale's spokesman David Ender, "Even in the event of a strike, that store will likely remain open, staffed by employees from other areas of the company." And though the economy is in the pits these days, Bloomies doesn't necessarily need to be tight-fisted about this. According to WWD, the retailer's "sales figures improved rather than fell as the economy declined." Thank god for foreign tourists and their love of those little brown bags.
· Bloomie Walkout in Store [NY Post]
· The Economic Squeeze: Bloomingdale’s, Union In Talks Over Contract [WWD, subscription req]