KARA spent years fighting for responsible development of the Kingsbridge Armory, advocating that the City Council disapprove the redevelopment plan unless the proposed developer, the Related Companies, sign a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) which includes living wage jobs, local hiring, community and recreation space, money for affordable housing, the exclusion of a big box grocery store, and the protection of the right of retail workers to join a union without fear or intimidation.
On December 14, 2009, the City Council voted 45-to-1 to reject the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory. In part, the Council members voted to kill the project because the Related Companies refused to sign onto the CBA, meaning that the proposed mall’s tenant stores would only be required to pay its workers the federal minimum wage, which is hardly enough to survive in New York City.
The Queens Center Mall Campaign (QCMC) builds on the momentum from KARA’s bittersweet success. QCMC is asking that retailers at the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, Queens, pay a living wage with benefits, respect their employees' right to organize a union without threat or intimidation, and secure community space to provide much needed community services, such as job training, youth services, English as a Second Language classes, financial counseling and more.
The Queens Center Mall Campaign has been endorsed by many components of the Queens community and labor, led by Make the Road New York and the RWDSU.
The Retail Action Project (RAP) is a membership organization for retail workers that builds power through advocacy, community and street action, media work, organizing and legal action. RAP supports its members though outreach and education, job and skills workshops, job services and help with employment problems.
RAP is dedicated to building worker and community power to challenge injustices in the retail industry and ensure that retailers provide stable jobs with living wages, benefits and respect. RAP is a community labor partnership of the RWDSU and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES).
RAP members are retail worker activists who work together to improve conditions in retail through direct action, workplace rights education, organizing, legal action and media outreach.
RAP works with community-based organization, unions, faith-based institutions, elected officials and individual volunteers. RAP is developing a base of worker and community support to advocate for better employment opportunities in retail.