Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Endorses Michael Blake for Congress (NY-15)

New York, NY – The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) has announced its endorsement of Michael Blake to be the next congressional representative of New York’s 15th District.

Chartered in 1937, RWDSU is a leading union representing employees in a wide range of industries, including retail, poultry processing, grocery stores, bakeries, hotels, health care, manufacturing, sanitation, and many others.

Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU’s president, issued the following statement:

“Michael Blake was born and raised in the Bronx. He understands the importance of unions; his father was a proud union member. Michael Blake is now serving the people of the Bronx in the New York State Assembly as a fighter for working people.

“Michael Blake has become a national figure, respected across the entire Democratic Party as an important voice for those women and men everywhere who have all too often been left behind. We were proud to be early supporters in his successful campaign 3 years ago to become Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Combined with his work for President Obama, this experience and exposure will give him a head start in making sure that the important needs and concerns of his constituents in the Bronx—including many RWDSU members—will be taken seriously.

“There are many good candidates in this race. Yet, we need a Congressperson who has more than experience—but the right experience—and that’s what makes Michael Blake stand out at this important time.

“During moments of crisis, you see tests of leadership. Leadership is what Michael Blake has been demonstrating during this pandemic. During the last three months, we have seen evidence of his ability to step up and show that he is ready. He has been in constant contact trying to see how he can be of help to working people during this horrific time. Because of his efforts in obtaining and providing personal protective equipment, our members and others who are working have been made safer. Because of his distribution of food, our members and others who are out of work have not gone hungry.

“As an Assemblyman, Michael has been a consistent supporter of labor—standing with the women and men of our union time and time again. He co-sponsored the bill to end sub-minimum wages for car wash workers, and has stood with us in our fights for union representation and fair contracts. We are proud to support him.

“The RWDSU believes in the Bronx, and we believe in Michael Blake.”


I’m honored to have the support of RWDSU, whose diverse and hardworking membership is integral to the fabric of New York City’s—and especially the Bronx’s—economy. For years, I have been committed to supporting the causes championed by RWDSU, from standing alongside car washers who demanded a living wage to protesting Amazon’s exploitation of fulfillment center workers. And now more than ever, RWDSU’s supports and protections are critical. The coronavirus crisis has put the health and safety of grocery store workers in jeopardy, Macy’s employees are out of work, and tens of thousands of other hardworking Americans now find themselves without a steady paycheck. I’ll continue to be an ally both during and after this crisis so that these workers can feel safe in their jobs and secure in their ability to provide for their families.


— Assemblyman Michael Blake




RWDSU represents a wide range of industries, including but not limited to retail, grocery stores, poultry processing, dairy processing, cereal processing, soda bottlers, bakeries, health care, hotels, manufacturing, public sector workers like crossing guards, sanitation, and highway workers, warehouses, building services, and distribution.

RWDSU has over 75 years of experience in helping workers win better wages, working conditions, and respect on the job. And while RWDSU members work in a wide range of occupations, the goal is the same: negotiating strong contracts and providing quality representation in the workplace.