A Lululemon store in the nation’s capital has started to unionize, the latest in a growing wave of outdoor retail unionization across the U.S.
Employees at the Georgetown, District of Columbia, Lululemon location have officially started the process of becoming a union. On June 20, the group filed a request for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold an election.
Through its Twitter account, the group has asked Lululemon to recognize the new union. The employees have named it the Association of Concerted Educators, as Lululemon calls many of its store workers “educators.”
The group’s demands include more collaboration, transparency, and equitable pay structures.
“We show up ready to truly connect with our guests and truly create fun and memorable experiences,” the nascent union wrote on Twitter. “We seek to uphold our value of inclusion in everything we do. These are the reasons we are collectively saying: Recognize our union.”
We are courageous, we are demanding more.
More pay transparency
More equitable pay structures
— the lululemon union (@_ACEunion) July 21, 2022
In a prepared statement, a Lululemon spokesperson said the company culture values “lasting relationships.”
“We value the direct connection we have with our employees and encourage open and honest two-way communication, ongoing collaboration, and trust,” the spokesperson said.
“We were recently notified of a petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board from a store in Washington, D.C. We respect the process, and welcome being in continued conversations with our teams.”
Lululemon Store Joins Growing Movement
Labor unions have seen a resurgence in 2022. New efforts at companies including Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks have made headlines. And in the outdoor space, the union phenomenon has swept up REI. With a decisive majority, employees of REI’s store in Soho, New York, voted in March to form the first unionized co-op.
The Georgetown Lululemon employees join the evident momentum in the U.S., where college-educated workers have been pushing for labor unions, The New York Times reported.
“A key part of the story is the radicalization of the college-educated worker,” Noam Scheiber wrote. “You had a grinding recovery from the Great Recession followed by the pandemic. Being college-educated doesn’t necessarily mean being on board. But whether it’s Starbucks, Amazon, or REI, college-educated workers have been heavily involved.”
College grads or not, Lululemon’s employees in the nation’s capital may represent the next wave.