• Clint Engel

Four more Bob's Discount Furniture Stores vote in union

MANCHESTER, Conn. — Salespeople at four more Bob's Discount Furniture stores in New Hampshire and New York have voted to join the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Associates at three Connecticut stores had voted to join two months ago.

According to a UFCW release, sales associates at Bob's stores in Manchester, N.H., and Glendale, Freeport and Farmingdale, N.Y., voted in favor of unionization in recent weeks.

They join employees at Bob's stores in Manchester, Orange and Stamford, Conn., who voted for union representation this summer.

In addition, hourly office, warehouse and café employees at the Farmingdale store are awaiting scheduling of an election, and sales associates and certain hourly employees at Bob's in North Plainfield, N.J., are set to vote Friday, the UFCW said.

Ted English, CEO of Manchester, Conn.-based Bob's, could not be reached immediately for comment. The release did not say if a date has been set for collective bargaining.

Bob's sales associates and other employees "are calling for fair commission formulas, affordable health care options and improved working conditions," the union said. "Currently, floor sales associates are paid strictly on commission, without any base wages."

The union also said the retailer recently changed its commission formula in a way that hurt longtime employees and is requiring employees to pay more for health insurance premiums.

Bob's is No. 15 on Furniture/Today's most recent Top 100 with estimated 2010 sales of $584.6 million at 40 stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. In May, it opened its first two Washington, D.C.-area stores.

Clint EngelClint Engel | Senior Retail Editor, Furniture Today

Please feel free to email or call me with all of your retail news and tips, including expansion news, successful merchandising and marketing strategies and anything else you would like to see covered by Furniture/Today.  Contact me directly at cengel@furnituretoday.com or 336-605-1129.

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