The employees at McNally Jackson, which has four bookstores and three stationery stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, are voting on whether or not to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) on Thursday. Of the approximately 100 employees, some 80 have signed union cards and are expected to vote "yes," a long-serving staff member of the stores told PW.
On Tuesday, a majority of employees at the stores were wearing pins that said "Union Yes" in support of the measure. According to the staff member who spoke with PW, among the issues the employees hope to address and negotiate with management are the establishment of clear job descriptions and categories of employee, a line of progression for promotions, and a rise in wages. At present, the employees don't have a draft contract, "so we have to start from scratch," said the member of staff.
Unions at bookstores remain uncommon. In New York City, the RWDSU has represented workers at Book Culture bookstores since 2014, though that vote was initially met with controversy, and employees at the Strand Book Store have been unionized since the 1970s and are members of the United Auto Workers Union. In Oregon, employees at Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., are also unionized.
At the time of publication, McNally Jackson's owner, Sarah McNally, had not yet returned a request for comment.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.