About 40 people took part in a protest outside the retailer’s store in the city’s Downtown Crossing shopping district on Tuesday, led by the Local 1445 chapter of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). According to MassLive, it was part of a nationwide effort among fast-food workers and cashiers to push for a $15 hourly wage and the right to join a labor union.
But no Primark employees joined in and protestors moved on after 15 minutes.
Fabricio DaSilva, strategic campaign director for UFCW Local 1445, claimed that store managers were intimidating workers and they were “afraid to come out.”
However, a spokesperson for the retailer told MassLive that was not the case: “Primark respects the fact that the decision on whether or not to join a union collectively belongs to our employees, and, at no time, have employees been discouraged from union interaction… Employees were free to join this demonstration and the resulting level of participation indicates a lack of employee interest in this union’s message and tactics.”
It was the third such demonstration by UFCW outside the store, which officially opened its doors in September and employs about 500 people. Union members and organizers previously gathered in July and August.
The spokesperson continued, “With approximately 60,000 employees in nine countries, where some are represented by unions and others are not, Primark stands by its commitment to support the decision of employees regarding unionization.”