Union Says It Will Provide Temperature Checks for Macy’s Workers at Two New York Stores After Company Refuses to Do So

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is stepping in after Macy’s Inc. refused to perform temperatures checks for workers at its smaller stores.

The RWDSU’s Local 1-S chapter, which represents about 4,300 Macy’s Inc. workers in the New York area, said in a statement it will provide temperature checks to members Friday at two reopening locations, in White Plains, N.Y. and the Bronx, N.Y.

“For Macy’s Inc. to consider workers at smaller stores more expendable than at their flagship Herald Square and their larger stores is inexcusable. The safety of our members in White Plains and Parkchester is just as important not only to their own safety, but to the safety of their community as any other store,” Angella Harding, president of Local 1-S of the RWDSU, said in a statement. “The union will continue to step in and provide critical health and safety measures that protect not just our members but shoppers as well in the COVID-19 crisis, but it is shameful Macy’s won’t take this simple but critical step to protect its entire workforce.”

A representative from Macy’s told FN the company’s “top priority” is ensuring “the safety and security of its colleagues and customers.”

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“We are following the CDC recommended everyday preventative measures, as well as all local and state orders,” the spokesperson said.

Similar to other retailers such as Nordstrom, Lululemon and Under Armour, Macy’s is reopening units with new policies aimed at keeping both staff and shoppers safe. Reopened stores include sneeze guards and sanitization stations, while high-touch services such as bra-fitting, alterations and ear piercing have been temporarily suspended. In addition, the retailer has enhanced cleaning procedures and is requiring workers to wear protective equipment.

This week, Macy’s reported preliminary financial results for the first quarter, with chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette revealing that its reopened locations are performing “better than anticipated” and it could exit the second quarter in a “clean inventory position.”

With stores closed for much of the three-month period ended May 2, Macy’s predicted for sales to plunge 45% to $3.02 billion — in line with estimates and within the range that the company had provided nearly three weeks ago. It also forecasted an adjusted loss of $630 million, or $2.03 per share, compared with the previous year’s earnings of $137 million, or 44 cents a share. That expected loss is lower than consensus bets of a $2.82 per share loss.

What’s more, the retailer added that it was seeing a strong sell-through of its seasonal merchandise and expects to exit the lockdown without an inventory burden.

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