“Less than a week after workers struck at Borders’s downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., store, employees at one of country’s major indies also went on strike.

Last Wednesday, more than 300 unionized workers at the seven Powell’s Bookstore locations in Portland, Ore., went on strike to protest a slow down in contract negotiations. Powell’s workers unionized in 1999 and joined the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 5; the union’s first contract, negotiated in 2000, expired on October 1.

Approximately 385 employees are represented by the union out of a total of 494 employees.

Ryan Van Winkle, the union rep for Local 5, told PW Daily, “The median income for a Powell’s employee is a hair over $11 per hour. But half of the employees are making less than that, and when you’re making $9 an hour a 3% annual raise per year isn’t a lot of money.”

> From Publisher’s Weekly: “Strike Two: Unionized Powell’s Workers Hold One Day Walk-out”

Author: Rob