The collective staff of Good Vibrations Brookline and Harvard Square have gone on strike to demand safer working conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a more appropriately staffed HR department and we need your support!
On Saturday August 15th the workers of Good Vibrations Brookline and Harvard Square stores collectively known as Solidarity for East Coast Sex Educators (Yes, SECSE is pronounced "sexy") began our strike.
SECSE is a collective of sex-positive educators highly trained in being open and welcoming to all populations while speaking about sex and pleasure science with expertise. We are a group comprised of trans people, queer people, people of color, disabled people, sex workers, and very passionate educators.
As of the 15th none of the affected workers have received wages or have been able to utilize PTO to fund our strike efforts. This fund is going to be leveraged to help support striking workers at a time when we are unable to collect wages, as well as help purchase supplies such as signage and stickers for the picket line. Parts of the fund will also be allocated to reimbursing our social media manager for hosting all of our websites, media presence, etc.
We are hoping to resolve our issues with the home office in California as soon as humanly possible in order to return to work, but any support is appreciated!
Join us on social media with the hashtags #StandWithSECSE and #ImWithSECSE
Sign our petition to our corporate home office in support of our efforts: https://www.coworker.org/petitions/stand-with-secse?share=b511c767-e4c3-436e-ba22-806d52d3f8dc&source=rawlink&utm_source=rawlink&share=6cec4d47-5134-4bd7-8172-6f3a21010b43
Find us on our website http://secse.net
All floor models must be removed from the floor until COVID-19 transmission statistics reach a level that is comfortable for all employees of locations 74 & 82. If customers wish to interact with product testers, they may ask and be presented with said floor models by an employee. After customers are finished viewing the tester(s), they will be promptly cleaned and put away with other, clean floor models.
If the company is unwilling to abide by this demand, we must be paid hazard pay for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We demand a higher standard of communication from management and home office. Many employees of locations 74 & 82 did not realize that our stores were reopening to the public until they saw posts about it on Instagram posts. This is an unacceptable trend that should not be allowed to continue especially when it concerns our jobs and safety.
Day-to-day, in-store changes to COVID-19 procedure must be democratically made by those directly affected by them: the employees of stores 74 and 82. If changes are to be proposed by management then scheduled check-ins, written consent, and documentation must be mandatory before making changes to the following:
- Operating hours.
- Staffing & recall timetables.
- Handling of customers & maximum capacity.
- Plans for a potential second wave.
We demand a higher standard of human resources. We are told time and again that the human resources department is underfunded and understaffed but the employees of locations 74 & 82 find this excuse for the repeated oversight of our needs as a staff insufficient. Our human resources department is on the opposite side of the country with little to no ability to view our situation directly, understand our needs, and act promptly upon our behalf. Therefore, it is imperative that we are empowered to advocate for our own, unique needs at locations 74 and 82. The following will serve as the standard which we seek:
An initiative must be created within the human resources department which prioritizes the handling of sexual harassment and assault within the workplace. This initiative must be spearheaded by trauma-informed individuals who are committed to empathy and solidarity with survivors.
We demand that human resources respond to our calls and emails in a timely manner of no more than three days. If more time than this is required for the processing of a report, complaint, etc. then human resources must be transparent about how long the employee is likely to wait for a response.
Confidentiality between an employee issuing a complaint of abuse by co-workers and/or management must be strictly upheld. If an exception must be made to this demand, human resources must be transparent with employees as to when and why their communications must be shared with other members of management and/or staff.
It must be mandatory that the human resources department engage directly and exclusively with employee matters rather than having management entities outside of their department perform human resources duties in their place. Exceptions to this will be permitted if and only If a reason satisfactory for the concerned individual(s) is offered for why such substitutions are necessary.
Present a timetable for bolstering the staffing of human resources so that the department is better equipped to handle emergencies, time-sensitive matters, and prompt correspondence with employees.
All employees of locations 74 & 82 must be given their overdue annual check-ins and subsequent raises for the year of 2020. Additionally, policy on seniority being unaffected by leave and/or furlough should be extended to SESAs still in their training period.
Local management must be offered additional resources and decision-making agency to account for the lack of corporate support on the east coast.
- Maeve Levi
- Allison Cole
- SHAYNA MURPHY