By Kat McNeal
The Virginia Defender spoke last night with Diversity Thrift worker Jeremy Stump, who reported that as of Monday, Nov. 15, the strike at Diversity is over. Stump, along with Diversity Richmond program director Aurora Higgs, was selected by his coworkers to speak on their behalf during the strike.
The 11 workers met for just over two hours this Monday evening with Diversity’s full executive board, to discuss the changes that will be taking place at the nonprofit. Stump found the atmosphere of the meeting to be energetic and cooperative: “There were a lot of good ideas,” he said.
Among other things, the workers advocated for hiring additional store managers, and suggested re-hiring past thrift store employees to close staffing gaps. The existing store workers would also like to be considered for promotions to full-time positions.
Some changes cannot be implemented until the board hires a Human Resources professional; Stump hopes someone can be hired by the end of the week. Diversity Richmond is seeking an independent contractor to fill the position, and had already begun carrying out interviews on Monday.
“We’re very excited to work with [the board], since they’re essentially going to re-build the business from the ground up,” Stump said. “It’s a new day for sure.”
All participants in the work stoppage have returned to their jobs. They plan to meet with the executive board again in one month, to check in on the progress of the changes being made around the store.