Union, by the book

Elliott Bay Books in Seattle voluntarily recognized a new union March 13 — one day after employees announced they were forming it.

The newly formed Book Workers Union—made up of 26 workers—is described as an independent rank-and-file led organization committed to building a more just and equitable workplace through collective action. Workers had been meeting to talk about organizing since last June.

The two sides immediately  began bargaining over coronavirus protective measures. On March 15, the store closed to the public and shifted to online and phone orders only. Within days, an agreement was reached: no permanent layoffs, one week’s severance pay, and extended health coverage, and union members voted unanimously to approve it.


  • Powell’s Books in Portland
  • The Strand in New York
  • Green Apple Books in San Francisco
  • Elliott Bay Books in Seattle

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