Senator Bernie Sanders speaks out against Everlane after layoffs
United States senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken on Everlane, after the company suddenly laid off over 200 employees, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite Everlane's ethical image, multiple reports say that many employees were blindsided when a total of over 200 employees, including part- and full-time retail workers and eight temp workers sourced from Atrium Staffing, were laid off or furloughed.
Among those employees were 42 out of 57 remote customer experience team members, who claim they were laid off without warning or notice on March 27.
Members of the customer service team, who have established themselves on social media using the name 'Everlane Union', have been in the process of unionizing since late December, claiming that the company known for its promises of 'radical transparency' offered "low pay, nonexistent benefits, unpredictable scheduling," and appeared to prevent employees from organizing, according to a Vice report.
After being laid off, Everlane Union said that retail workers from Everlane stores were being trained to replace those fired to answer customer support emails.
Now, these customer service workers have had their cause taken up by Senator Sanders, who accused Everlane of using the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to "union bust" via Twitter on March 28.
"Using this health and economic crisis to union bust is morally unacceptable," Sanders tweeted. "I'm calling on @Everlane to bring workers back on payroll and recognize @EverlaneU (Everlane Union)."
That same day, Everlane responded via Twitter with a statement from Michael Preysman, Everlane's founder. In the statement, Preysman said that "this was not about the union," and that "this was the hardest decision we've ever had to make and we are doing everything we can to retain our team and survive."
The statement further said that Everlane does not have a cash balance, that the company furloughed all full-time retail employees so that they could keep their benefits, and that the company converted 20 customer experience associates and gave them full-time positions with benefits.
In the wake of the layoffs, Everlane Union has created an Everlane customer support employee relief fund via Gofundme to support those who have been impacted.
On March 31, Everlane Union said via Twitter that Everlane has begun deleting comments on its Instagram that mention the union.
Currently, Everlane's retail stores remain closed until after shelter-in-place mandates in New York and California are lifted, while its online store remains open.
FashionNetwork.com has made contact with Everlane Union and is awaiting comment.
FashionNetwork.com has reached out to Derris, a public relations firm that works with Everlane, but is yet to receive comment.
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