Union drives at Barnes & Noble stores are gaining momentum, with a majority of the workers at two more outlets voting to unionize. In San Jose, Calif., 28 booksellers, cashiers, and baristas at the B&N located at the Almaden Plaza shopping mall voted on November 8 to join United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 5, and 18 workers at the B&N in Bloomington, Ill., voted on Nov. 17 to join the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union.
On its Instagram page, the group that spearheaded the union drive at B&N-Almaden wrote that its goal in unionizing is “to secure better wages, guarantee access to comprehensive training, and create a safer work environment for team members and our customers,” declaring that “nobody knows [store operations] like we do and and we believe we deserve a say in how our store is run.”
UFCW Local 5, which represents workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California, posted on its Instagram page that the B&N-Almaden election was a “big win,” and that “the workers have spoken, securing a resounding 90% majority in the union election.”
In Bloomington, the election was, RWDSU director of communications Chelsea Connor told PW, “unanimously in favor of the union."
Three other B&N retail outlets—one in Hadley, Mass. and two in New York City, including B&N’s flagship store on Union Square as well as the store in Park Slope—have already unionized. The workers at those stores are represented by RWDSU, as are the workers at the B&N Education store on the Rutgers University campus in New Jersey.