About 4,000 local Macy's union workers are prepared to strike if a new contract with the retailer isn't reached by midnight Wednesday, a union spokesman said.
The union voted yesterday to authorize a strike, arguing that Macy's proposed contract would force workers to compete for shifts, offer less paid time off, eliminate pensions for new workers and raise healthcare costs, said Dan Morris, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union spokesman.
“The workers are serious, and they're willing to walk out and stand up for fair wages and benefits and hour if pushed," Morris said, noting that the contract, which was signed in 2006, could be extended on “good faith" while negotiations continue.
"It's not as if anybody wants a strike, that's a terrible option," Morris said.
Four stores would be affected, including Macy's flagship in Herald Square and stores in Queens, Parkchester and White Plains.
Macy's spokeswoman Elina Kazan said in a statement that the store has “offered the Union wage and benefits programs that will positively impact the lives of our associates.
“Our goal is to come to terms amicably with the Union to prevent any work stoppage at our four metro New York City stores."
On Sunday, Macy's took out an ad in The New York Times seeking temporary sales staff “in anticipation of a possible labor dispute.”
Both sides said they plan to negotiate today and tomorrow.