Scoop NYC is a high-end clothing retailer that operates 11 stores nationwide. Dubbing itself “The Ultimate Closet,” the store boasts that shoppers can find all they are looking for at Scoop. Scoop owns three stores in Manhattan, as well as one in New Jersey, one in Connecticut, and two in upstate New York. In addition to its East Coast locations, Scoop has stores in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Dallas.
Stock and security workers regularly worked 50 to 60 hours a week but did not receive overtime pay. Some 15 workers were then fired when they complained about these violations. “Our break room was a boiler room in the basement. This is where we had to eat our lunch, change our clothes and even sleep,” said Romeo Ilboudou, who worked the job for five years.
In late 2008, Scoop NYC workers called RAP because they felt discriminated against after the company allegedly refused to accept their legal work authorization and fired them. With the help of RAP, 17 workers filed two complaints against Scoop NYC, one seeking paid overtime and the second, which was filed at the U.S. Department of Justice, for discrimination based on national origin. The settlement with the company covers both cases.
In July 2009, RAP organized a large demonstration outside Scoop NYC’s flagship SoHo store to announce the lawsuit against the trendy clothing retailer. Scoops of ice cream were served to show solidarity. In October 2009, RAP’s Common Threads Art Collective projected video of Scoop workers sharing their story in front of the Westside Scoop NYC store. Then in February 2010, workers participated in the March of Hearts up Broadway in which they again rallied at Scoop NYC’s SoHo store. RAP members from Mystique Boutique and Shoe Mania also participated in the march.
In late 2010, the workers won a victory that came after a year of organizing, public demonstrations, and legal action to hold the company accountable for violating immigrant workers’ rights and overtime laws. “When I saw Fox News cover our protest, I felt that was the point when the company was going to settle with us,” said Abdul Ilboudo Symphoriem, one of the Scoop NYC workers involved in the campaign. The confidential settlement is a great victory for the Retail Action Project (RAP).
Madou Kone, a former Scoop NYC security supervisor, said, “This is a great victory for all Scoop workers and for RAP. I really appreciate the support we got from RAP and the community in this fight for justice.”