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On the closing day of its global conference in Atlanta, themed “Commerce workers rise! A global movement for our time,” UNI’s Commerce sector chose its leadership for the next four years who will help it realize a bold, new action plan to build union power.   

Hundreds of UNI Commerce delegates from nearly three dozen countries re-elected Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, as their Global President.  

During his previous term in office, starting in 2017, President Appelbaum strengthened UNI Commerce’s position as a powerhouse in the sector—including being a driving force behind the UNI Amazon Global Union Alliance. 

After the unanimous vote, Appelbaum said: 

The challenges before us are enormous, but we know what to do. We have an action plan, and we have to take advantage of this moment.  

The pandemic changed how workers see their employers and their jobs. They are demanding more, and the bottom line is that they must be treated with dignity and respect, get paid fairly, and be kept safe on the job. The only way they are going to get that is through unions. We have to do everything we can to support workers who are making a difference. We have to confront these challenges together in a united way. We have to do it together. 

Mathias Bolton, Head of UNI Commerce, seconded that sentiment. 

“Our conference is about being a trade union movement for our time, and to do that, we must have the right leadership for our time. Stuart’s experience and vision is what we need now and what we will need to be a stronger movement for commerce workers over the next four years,” he said. 

Daniel Lovera, FAECYS (Argentina), Tomoko Nagashima, UA ZENSEN (Japan), and Linda Palmetzhofer, Handels (Sweden), were also elected global commerce vice presidents. The African vice president will be picked at a later date. A representative steering committee was also selected. 

Watch this space for more about the UNI Commerce Action Plan. 



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