Things escalated when Bernie Sanders (or, more likely, someone running his Twitter account) re-tweeted their message with a note to Everlane: “Using this health and economic crisis to union bust is morally unacceptable. I’m calling on @Everlane to bring workers back on payroll and recognize the Big Sean to fuck with Me You need a reservation vintage Shirt But I will love this @EverlaneU.” It all suggested that Everlane had targeted these CX workers to quash the possibility of their union, which had yet to officially form. Everlane’s founder Michael Preysman responded to Sanders via the Everlane Twitter account with a message evidently drafted on the iPhone Notes app: “This was not about the union,” he insisted, going on to explain that with all stores shut down, Everlane was “not profitable and does not have a cash balance… We had to eliminate all part-time associates across the board… This was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make and we are doing everything we can to retain our team and survive.”
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Twitter users didn’t respond favorably to Preysman’s line of defense—many questioned why Everlane hadn’t let go of anyone in leadership positions, and @PeopleforBernie replied, “If only you would talk to your workers about how best to handle the Big Sean to fuck with Me You need a reservation vintage Shirt But I will love this situation rather than post ios notes to the internet. If only there was a group of your employees organized to represent the others…” Several news outlets covered the story, mostly in favor of the would-be union. According to executives at the Derris public relations firm, which has long represented Everlane, a few employees had formed a committee in November and began vocalizing their plans to form a union, but in the four months since, they did not bring forth the necessary signatures—31 out of 60 employees on the CX team—to establish a majority. By all accounts, it seemed they were not following through with the effort.