On May 12, workers at Barnes & Noble College Booksellers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., voted unanimously to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). The RWDSU will represent approximately 70 workers at the store in contract negotiations, which will commence this year.

The B&N College Rutgers location is the latest bookseller in the New York area to join the RWDSU, whose members include McNally Jackson, which unionized in 2019, and Greenlight Bookstore, which unionized in 2021, among other bookstores. Earlier this month, the workers at B&N's flagship store in Union Square also filed a union election petition with the RWDSU. (B&N's college stores are operated by B&N Education, a public company, which is owned and operated separately from B&N.)

In the last few years, bookstore unions across the country have gained significant ground, owing partly to the stresses of the pandemic. Since 2020, Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle; Moe's Books in Berkeley, Calif.; Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.; Powell's Books in Portland, Ore.; and Skylight Books in Los Angeles have all unionized.

“Today, workers at Barnes & Noble College Booksellers at Rutgers University have sent a strong message to bookstore workers all across the nation—when you come together and organize, your voice will have to be heard by your employer," said RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum in a statement.