Park Slope Barnes & Noble Workers File for Union with RWDSU
Barnes & Noble workers at the Park Slope, Brooklyn store yesterday filed for their union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking representation with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). This comes just days after workers at the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers store on the Rutgers University campus won their union election unanimously with RWDSU. The petition also swiftly follows that of the Union Square Flagship store filing for their union election with RWDSU; their election is set for Wednesday, June 7.
Workers have asked Barnes & Noble to voluntarily recognize the union so that contract negotiations can commence swiftly around a host of issues workers are contending with at the bookseller. These workers face continued safety issues amid NYC's post-pandemic rebound, including workplace harassment, substandard pay for the industry below that of independent booksellers, unstable scheduling practices, a lack of structure when it comes to job duties and tasks at work, and favoritism by management.
“I have been working at this store for over a year and I constantly see how our low wages affect me and my co-workers in what I can choose to afford each week whether it’s food, a MetroCard or time spent with friends. There is an unfair balance in how much I am working and how much we are getting paid. I want all of us to experience full-time benefits like health insurance if we work full-time hours. For these reasons, we are coming together to create a better way to work at this place that we love,” said Haruka Iwasaki (She/Her), 28, Senior Bookseller. Read more here and follow @BNWorkers on Twitter and @BarnesandNobleUnion on Instagram!