Worked retail? Speak out!

Common Threads Art Collective and Stephanie Rothenberg

A series of public interventions that bring awareness to the experiences of 14th Street retail workers, past, present and future.

Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas on retail work. This is an open forum for retail workers and their allies to spread the word about what its really like working in and living on retail work in New York City.

Feel free to post comments, articles, photos or interviews.

AIOP in action

What is the most difficult aspect of working in the retail industry?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sunday, October 25th 5-8pm DisPosing: Mannequins Strike a New Pose.

DisPosing: Mannequin Uprising
Sunday, October 25th 5-8pm

14th Street Mannequins have broken out of the stores and onto the streets.

They are not taking any more abuse.
They are sick & tired of standing all day.
They want fair breaks, fair wages & life outside work.

14th Street Mannequins have united for dignity at work and need your support.
Help them strike a new pose.

In return you will get limited supplies coupons advertising no retail bargains, a Retail Workers’ Survival Guide with insiders tips on retail work, & hear from allied retail workers in "Project Retailing" video projections.

Don't miss this opportunity to join the Mannequin Uprising (MU).

Dates Changes!
Sunday, October 25th is the finale of Retailing 14th Street. Events previously posted for Saturday, October 24th & Monday October 26th will now occur on Sunday, October 25th.

Friday, October 16, 2009

“Project Retailing”
Saturday, October 17th 5-7pm
Opening @ Scoop NYC West Village, corner of 14th Street & Washington St

"Project Retailing" is an innovative video project whereby retail
workers' testimonials are projecting in front of retail stores.
The video features Scoop NYC workers telling their stories
about working at the high-end Scoop NYC store where we will be

Former workers of Scoop NYC sued the company this summer for document abuse, citizenship status discrimination and unpaid overtime. Support Scoop NYC workers and come see “Project Retailing” Saturday, October 17th.

Subversive coupons and the Retail Workers Survival Guide will be
distributed to all in attendance.You can also view "Dis-Posing," a
sculptural installation of re-claimed mannequins striking a new pose.

If you can't attend the opening screening of "Project Retailing"
on Saturday, Oct. 17th, check out these other clandestine video
Mon, October 19th: 5-8pm @ University Pl./Broadway
Tues, October 20th: 5-8pm @ 14th Street/ University & 5th Ave
Sat, October 24th: 5-8pm @ University Pl./Broadway

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Support our sponsors!

LOUDspeaker! presents;
Date: October 11th and October 18th
Time: 1-3pm
Location: Walking along 14th Street and meeting in Union Square
Participation welcome! contact

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Retailing 14th Street has begun!

Through the Art in Odd Places 09 Festival, we are presenting a variety of media to capture life in the retail industry:

PB&J for a Retail Economy!
Join our Breadline for Unemployed, Underemployed & Low-Wage Workers in
 our Great City of New York! Get your blessing by Rev. Billy and free coupons for a retail experience.

Mannequins disposed on the streets with free coupons for the latest retail experience.

Project Retail: Workers Retailing Video Projections
Serendipitously encounter stories from the retail world via video projections outside retail stores.

Retail Survival Handbook:
Tips and fun games on surviving retail! Get your copy while supplies 

Thursday, October 1st:
2-4pm @ 6th Ave & 14th St. Dis-Posing
5-7pm @ Union Square S. PB&J for a Retail Economy, Dis-Posing

Sunday, October 4th:
4-7pm @ 14th St. btw University/5th & 430 W.14th St. Dis-Posing

Monday, October 17th:
4-8pm @ Scoop NYC, 430 W.14th St. Project Retail, Dis-Posing,
Retail Survival Handbook

Tuesday, October 19th:
5-9pm @ University Pl./Broadway Project Retail

Tuesday, October 20th: 5-9pm @ Broadway & 6th Ave. Project Retail

Saturday, October 24th: 5-9pm @ University Pl./Broadway Project Retail

Monday, October 26th: 4-8pm @ Union Square South Dis-Posing

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

PB+J Breadline

October 1st 5-7pm
Union Square South

PB&J for a Retail Economy!

Join a Breadline for the Unemployed, Underemployed and Low-Wage Workers of our Great City of New York!

In these tough economic times, we will revisit the breadline as a tool for subsidizing low wage employment that pervades our service economy. Our Human Resource Department will be available to help you access your benefit of a free peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Rev. Billy and the Church of Life after Shopping will also be present to bless the line and those souls who need a raise or employment.

Presented by Art in Odd Places 2009: SIGN, an annual festival exploring the odd, ordinary and ingenious in the spectacle of daily life.

After you get your bread, you can join the party at the Art in Odd Places Festival opening at TheaterLab 137 14th Street btw 6th & 7th Aves

PB&J for a Retail Economy is a part of Retailing 14th Street, a collaboration of the Common Threads Art Collective and artist Stephanie Rothenberg with the support of the Retail Action Project. Retailing 14th Street intends to bring awareness to the experiences of 14th Street retail workers during the run of the Art In Odd Places Festival in October. PB&J for a Retail Economy was produced by Alicia Canary, Martin Munoz and Leah Danger, members of the Common Threads Art Collective.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scoop NYC Subversive Coupon!

Check out this latest subversive coupon by Retail Action Project member, Leah Danger, an artist and recovering retail worker.

Leah made this coupon in solidarity with Scoop NYC workers who sued high-end retailer Scoop NYC for over $500,000 in unpaid overtime wages in July 2009. 7 of these workers, all hailing from West Africa, are also suing Scoop NYC for citizenship status discrimination. They were illegally fired when Scoop NYC accused them of being undocumented, in spite of the fact that they all have legal work authorization. The workers found help at the Retail Action Project who helped them file the lawsuit and get media attention in FOX News, NY1 and Crains NY. Support Scoop NYC workers! Don't shop at Scoop NYC!

Get your own Scoop NYC subversive coupon, support the Mannequin Resistance, and see Scoop NYC retail worker video testimonials October 17th 4-7pm! Meet in front of Scoop NYC at 430 West 14th Street NY, NY.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Great REcession?

"Unemployment jumps to a 26-year high of 9.7%" according to Chris Isidore of  As the recession continues, jobless America continues to expand its population.  Hours and wages are being reduced in many cases as business slows.  Other companies burden their salaried employees with a longer work week as the employees assume the workload of recent lay-offs.   Many people have filed for unemployment and have been living on their savings.  However, those ineligible for unemployment and/or without savings are greatly affected by the economic downturn. 

How has the recession affected you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

10 More Cents

The federal minimum wage rose from $6.55 to $7.25/hr Friday (7/24/09), concluding the three-phase increase. Opponents of the increase worry the mandate will hurt employers already suffering from the recession. However, roughly 1000 business leaders released a "Business For A Fair Minimum Wage" statement arguing, "Higher wages benefit business by increasing consumer purchasing power, reducing costly employee turnover, raising productivity, and improving product quality, consumer satisfaction and company reputation." Still others believe the wage falls short of a living wage, especially in NY where the rate only rose 10 cents. The minimum wage increase also has no impact for tipped workers who still earn as low as $2.13 in eighteen states.

How does the federal minimum wage increase affect you?