The Ann Arbor News files a lengthy story today on the ongoing Borders strike: “Stakes high for Borders, strikers as talks resume”
“… The first two weeks of the strike, sales at Shaman Drum Bookshop, around the corner from Borders’ East Liberty Street store, increased 50 percent. Owner Karl Pohrt sells both popular and scholarly books, some of which are sold at Borders as well.
Pohrt himself feels squeezed between profit margins and a desire to pay employees more. Starting wages for hourly workers at his store are $7.50 an hour, and average hourly wages are about $8.50, he says. He acknowledges that raising wages significantly would be difficult, given that the retail industry, particularly independent bookselling, continues to struggle.
“The book business may be a business model that doesn’t work for anybody very well because the profits are so slim,” said Pohrt, a director of the American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independent bookstores nationwide.” …”