Powell’s workers hold Labor Day strike

‘NO LABOR’ DAY For the first time since 2000, booksellers walked off the job Sept. 4 at Powell’s downtown Portland City of Books, above, and its Hawthorne and Beaverton stores. | PHOTO BY DON McINTOSH


Members of ILWU Local 5 at Powell’s Books held a one-day strike on Labor Day to protest alleged bad-faith bargaining by the company.

Local 5 union representative Myka Dubay said the two sides have bargained since January without reaching agreement, in part because Powell’s is playing games in bargaining. For example, company managers proposed to meet on Aug. 24 for negotiations, and Local 5 said yes. Company negotiators then said Local 5 didn’t say yes soon enough, and retracted the offer to meet about a month before the proposed meeting date.

“We are our union’s biggest supporter,” Powell’s said in a statement posted on its locked doors Sept. 4. The statement said Powell’s has agreed to support the union’s proposals on health insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums for healthcare and a wage structure that increases the top starting wage to $22.25 per hour at the beginning of the contract and to $24.25 per hour by the final year.

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