Workers authorize strike in NY Bloomingdales

April 25, 2008 7:43:54 AM PDT
Workers say they are set to strike and shut down Bloomingdale's flagship Manhattan store for the first time in 43 years if contract negotiations are not resolved by Thursday. A spokeswoman for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union says talks are continuing, but the 2,000 workers have authorized a walkout. Bloomingdale's spokesman David Ender says the store chain believes an agreement will be reached before the contract expires Wednesday evening. He says the negotiations have been "mutually respectful."

Union spokeswoman Carolyn Daly says no date has been set for the potential walkout, which would affect only Bloomingdale's 59th Street store. The 136-year-old company has 40 stores around the country.

Daly says the union and management are split over health care coverage and raises. Negotiations began in February.