Labor Day Strike hits Powell’s Books

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation,

The Union behind Powell’s Book’s has called for a strike forcing the book store to close all three of its existing retail locations for the busy day of Labor Day.   The Strike also includes urging the public to refrain from even buying online books.

OPB reported, “In a statement issued on Aug. 11, unionized workers said the company’s most recent “last, best, final offer,” included substandard wages and expensive health benefits.They said entry level booksellers start at $15.45 an hour, the area’s minimum wage, while about 85% of unionized workers make below the area’s living wage of $21.85. Many workers’ wages are capped below that rate, they said.”

President Emily Powell responded: “Powell’s has been committed to the city of Portland for over 50-years – as a place that opens minds and incites a free-thinking, independent culture. It breaks my heart to close for any period of time.“We’re doing everything we can to maintain a sustainable business in a challenging economic and retail climate. I don’t say that for sympathy but I do want to reiterate that the world’s largest independent bookstore is still a locally-owned, family-run business in Portland. Powell’s Books is a treasured destination in our city, and like any small business, we want to do right as both a place of business and a member of the community.At a time when union organizing and activity is at an all-time high across the U.S., we are proud of the fact that we’ve supported union activity for two decades. We know this process is tough on everyone, but we believe in the work and our track record of reaching sustainable and fair pathways forward.”

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