Borders Skirmishes

Booksellers make lousy money--and book chains want to keep it that way

Borders is facing a similar union drive in Gurnee, Illinois. Unlike in Minneapolis, however, the store's management became aware of the campaign early on and has actively sought to squelch it. According to Eugene Kulin, a store employee who is leading the drive, the company's regional manager has been brought in to dissuade workers from supporting the union, and pro-union employees have been punished for their stance. Kulin claims that one union supporter was fired for petty rule violations. "There's no doubt in my mind that it was because he was definitely with us," he says.

No election date has been set in Gurnee, but Kulin believes success at the Minneapolis store would help jump-start his efforts. "Now people are seeing, 'Hey, it's not just my pet project,'" he says. "They're seeing that it's a real thing. Interest is picking up again."

Fractures have already started to surface at the Uptown store. After the union election was announced, Evans posted a couple of pro-labor cartoons in the break room. Within a couple of days they had disappeared. Evans responded by posting a piece of paper on the bulletin board with just one word: "blank." "I figured that's what they wanted us to say and think: nothing," he says. Shortly afterward the cartoons resurfaced, accompanied by a poem dealing with betrayal.

Booksellers of the world, unite: Borders Uptown staffers Jason Evans, Holly Krig, and Pete Fergus
Tony Nelson
Booksellers of the world, unite: Borders Uptown staffers Jason Evans, Holly Krig, and Pete Fergus

Evans believes such jousting will do little to deter workers from voting for the union. "They completely underestimate us," he says. "We're confident we're going to win."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...