NEW YORK – Workers at the Barnes & Noble in Manhattan's Union Square, one of the retail chain's signature stores and home to its corporate offices, have voted to unionize.
They join employees at a handful of other Barnes & Noble stores in the Northeast who have affiliated with unions in recent weeks, following a wave of union activity over the past few years at independent booksellers.
The Union Square employees are now part of the the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which also represents workers at McNally Jackson, Greenlight Bookstore and other independents.
In an announcement Wednesday, the RWDSU cited issues at the Union Square store ranging from workplace harassment to “unstable scheduling practices” and “favoritism by management.”
“Together, with their colleagues in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and just across the water in Brooklyn, Barnes & Noble workers in Union Square have sent a message all across the nation — the bookstore industry can and must treat workers with dignity and respect," RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement.
“Workers at this store not only organized and won their union voice, but they did so with management literally above their heads in the corporate headquarters, which is housed just above the store in the same building.”
Barnes & Noble issued a brief statement saying, “We look forward to the new contract with the Union Square Booksellers.”