Employees of River Rat Print and Skate finalized their first union contract Wednesday morning. The union was voluntarily recognized by the store management.
Workers from the local skateboarding and print shop are joining the ranks of Communications Workers of America Local 6400, the labor union that represents hourly employees at Lawrence Public Schools. CWA Local 6400 also represents the workforce of Kansas Action for Children, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Topeka.
“Signing up for a union feels like an official acknowledgment that I work for a company that values my work and my time,” Jesi Anderson, a lead organizer of River Rat staff, said in a news release, “and it opens up more opportunities to work with other companies that do the same for their employees.”
“We are so excited to welcome River Rat Employees into our union family,” CWA Local 6400 President Hannah Allison-Natale said in the release. “We are ready to support any workers who want to organize. All workers deserve a union!”
Union printers distinguish themselves by placing a distinct logo, known as the “union bug,” on all in-house printed materials. The logo serves as a visible indication that the printing work was carried out by workers who are protected by a union contract.
“We as a company already print with our values and our hearts,” River Rat director Lou Wilson said in the release. “In unionizing, we’re opening the door to print for more organizations and companies who align with those values.”