Political Director

February 16th, 2021
Political Director

Political Director

  • Full Time
  • Senior Level
  • Applications have closed
Job Category: Policy/Advocacy
Location: Manhattan
Job Sectors: Other
Salary Range:

Organization Overview  

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) is a progressive union with an 80-year history of advancing the rights and interests of working people.   

The RWDSU has long been committed to using its voice to call for change and social justice for all working people. From its earliest days when it was formed by recent immigrants trying to build better lives for themselves in the midst of the Great Depression in New York, the union has often been at the forefront of progressive change. Members of the RWDSU marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the South during the early days of the civil rights movement and were involved in planning of the historic 1963 March on Washington. RWDSU officers served as election observers in South Africa in 1994, during that country’s first post-apartheid free elections. This same spirit animates the union’s political engagement now.

Today, RWDSU organizes tens of thousands of workers in new and notable industries and continues to fight for progressive action on behalf of all workers. RWDSU has proven to workers everywhere that they can win a voice on the job and the dignity and respect that union membership brings.  

Most notably, RWDSU organizers in the south have helped thousands of poultry workers win protections and improvements in what is traditionally dangerous and underpaid work. In the New York metropolitan area, RWDSU represents workers at retail stores and retail pharmacies in such well-known chains as Macy’s, Bloomingdales, H&M, Zara and Duane Reade. Members of the union also work in supermarkets, food processing, health care and service throughout the United States.   

RWDSU plays a leadership role in New York City on all workers’ rights, including helping lead the charge for the successful Living Wage NYC Campaign in 2012. In 2019, the RWDSU led the successful challenge to Amazon’s HQ2 getting a $3 billion dollar taxpayer subsidy. The RWDSU has also led the fight to improve conditions for the city’s car wash workers which culminated in elimination of the tip credit for car wash workers in 2020.   

RWDSU represents more than 100,000 members across the country and since 1993, has been affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers.  

Position Overview  

RWDSU is seeking a strategic and passionate leader to serve as its Political Director.  

The Political Director directs electoral, legislative and issue-based campaigns of the union, builds and maintains relationships with key political officials and allies, and helps build and manage an engaged and activated membership.   

This is an incredible opportunity for a fantastic strategist and organizer with a deep commitment to social justice. 

The Political Director will strengthen the political capacity of the union and build power for members in New York City and across the country.  Working closely with union President Stuart Appelbaum, the Political Director will shape and set the agenda for the union’s political program, which seeks to empower members to take action that will help them and their families. 

The Director will build and maintain relationships with key political figures, including federal, state and municipal elected and appointed officials, labor unions and progressive community organizations. The Director will build member political power by educating, activating and organizing members. 

The ideal candidate is a collaborative leader with a deep belief in the power of union membership and collective action, a commitment to elect champions for working families and a desire to build political power for RWDSU members and their families across the country. 

Key Responsibilities:  


      • Advise and collaborate closely with the RWDSU President on the overall political program, priorities and plans 


      • Develop strategies to grow political power for members 


      • Marshall the resources of the union to achieve political power, including volunteers, endorsements, and campaign contributions 


      • Drive member engagement, training and activation around electoral, legislative and issue campaigns 


      • Design and lead efforts to increase political activism among RWDSU’s membership 


      • Collaborate with the President and other leaders to manage relationships with federal, state and local elected and appointed officials  


      • Drive the candidate evaluation process, including endorsements and contributions 


      • Create and implement strategic plans for union-wide campaigns, including federal political and legislative campaigns and national issue campaigns 


      • Direct RWDSU’s work on social and racial justice campaigns  


      • Manage relationships and coalitions with progressive partners, including other labor unions and community organizations 


Key Qualifications 



      • Ten+ years’ of political experience in political campaigns, issue advocacy organizations, labor unions or community organizations 


      • Proven skills to develop and implement strategic plans for political, legislative or issue-based campaigns 


      • Demonstrated ability to work with colleagues in a collaborative manner 


      • Superb interpersonal skills, with an impressive history of forging strong relationships 
        with multiple stakeholders 


      • Effective and persuasive communication skills, both oral and written  


      • Excellent judgement 


      • Ability to inspire and energize members to take political action 


      • Demonstrated experience in and knowledge of political campaigns 


      • Experience working within and building coalitions 


      • Commitment to the mission, vision, values and members of RWDSU 


      • Ability to thrive in an ambitious, fast paced and intense environment 


      • Ability to travel as needed 



This position in based in New York, New York.  


To Apply 

Submit a cover letter and resume online at: https://grossmansolutions.applytojob.com/apply 

The cover letter should be concise, compelling and outline why you are the right person for this position. Only applications submitted through this website will be considered. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  

RWDSU is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace. RWDSU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under local, state or federal law.



Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Union

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