Elliott Bay Recognizes Its Book Workers Union

Comments

1

Best bookstore ever.

2

I guess if their prices go up to much, I'll have to shop more on Amazon.

3

I hope it goes well for them. I worked at Borders in the World Trade Center in NYC when it adopted a union. Borders refused to negotiate in good faith and we, the workers, got nothing. So we had to pay union dues and had union representation, but got nothing we organized to fight for, which led to the disbanding of the union less than 2 years later (I had already moved on to another job). Here's hoping Elliott Bay employees have better luck (and a better employer).

4

"we had to pay union dues and had union representation, but got nothing"

Not true. I'm sure the union boss had a nice car.

5

@2 You really need to get out more. On second thought, stick with Amazon.

6

@3 They actually let it get to a vote without shitcanning all the pro-union employees? How many “Training videos” about how the union just wants to control you we’re you required to watch?
Anyone who has been through this process knows the company can do anything it wants and government won’t do shit to help you so just steal shit from work, it’s the best you are going to get.

7

3,

If it’s of any consolation, Borders is no more.

You could say, we now live in a world without borders.

8

What I meant is that the bookstore rules because of the staff. They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful and recommend excellent books and write great reviews. They deserve the best.

9

Well, good for the union, and also good on Elliot Bay Books for being open to bargaining.

I'm confused about one thing: the timing. Why is Sawant and the union pushing this now? What is the likelihood of Elliot Bay Books even keeping its doors open for the next few months, much less able to pay employees a higher wages and more benefits? Restaurants are already closing left and right. The fucking Space Needle closed! Libraries, community centers, etc are closing. Night life has ground to a halt. I suppose a few brave souls will venture down to Elliot Bay Books, but probably not more than a handful a day when everyone his hiding in their bunkers.

I'm a union supporter, but this seems like the worst timing imaginable to try to demand higher wages and benefits. They'll be lucky if half of them are still employed by the end of the month.

Am I missing something?

10

This is the beginning of the end for Eliot Bay Books. Since when do book stores need a union? I'm in a union. But, I do not support this. It's fucking stupid.

11

@10 Have you ever worked for a bookstore? I've worked for a number of them (though to be fair at Borders I managed the music inventory). These bookstores want people who have advanced degrees, are extremely well read, educated, and intelligent, and in some cases give prospective employees TESTS to see if they have enough knowledge to sell books. Then they pay their employees minimum wage, offer no or shitty benefits, and employee them all at will. That's why.

All working people in this country deserve to be paid living wages and to have bargaining power. Borders chose to destroy their unionized stores, blacklisted all of the people who worked at stores that went union (which is why when I moved to Seattle with no job I could not get a job at Borders, but I did get a job at Barnes and Noble), and ultimately did themselves in and destroyed their entire business by going after the people who made their business possible and profitable in the first place: their employees.

12

@11, a "Living Wage" is a very general term. And who gives a fuck where they went to school?, or "well read", whatever that means. Who gives a fuck about Borders and BN? Just you. Remember this article and thread in two years. But, don't cry or complain when it's announced that EB is closing. And when that time comes. Don't say Bezos. Just say Union.

13

Such good news! Especially right now, all workers deserve a union to represent their needs. There is more to a union than pay and benefits, although those are important. There is protection from harassment by bad managers, often there are rules about how lay-offs happen and how re-hiring after a layoff happens. There is someone to go to when it seems like what a supervisor told you doesn't actually sound like the right thing. I hope that in the midst of this, they are focusing on these kinds of things. I look forward to placing my pre-orders for some books I want through Elliot instead of Powell's, who seems to have done the opposite - laying off union employees while keeping their jobs filled by higher-paid management positions, in an effort to weaken the union in the long haul.