Am I missing something. Are the employees that are looking to unionionize, sales people? Don't get me wrong, sales people have rights, but "hello", books sales is not a career. It's something you do when your going to high school or college. Something to do during Christmas for a little extras money. Something you do between jobs. It's a dead-end job and shouldn't pay a lot so you DON'T go make a career out of it and keep from going out to find a real job......
...but hey, maybe I am missing something....


comments: No one NEEDS unions. Unions are causing America to be completely uncompetitive with the rest of the world. If Union employees were willing to do as much as they ask their employers to give them, it might be worth it, but most people who unionize only want the employer to give concessions. A legally binding employment contract? So you want your employer to take of you to your grave. You want to be dependent on your employer so that he/she can't fire you no matter what a crummy job you do. That's fair. How come employees can quit then if they want to get another job or move to another place? If its legally binding, then you should be forced to do the same job forever, no matter what you want, since you expect your employer to keep you on and pay you $X no matter what you do in return for it. I have worked in retail all my working life, and I would quit, and in fact have left, any establishment that would consider unionizing. The only people who benefit from Unions are the union ! bosses. the Union members lose, the employer loses, most of all the consumer loses, and in the long run, America loses. If Barnes/Nobles employees unionize, many are willing to boycott the store altogether. then you won't have to worry about your working conditions. You won't have any. As a person who some day hopes to open her own business, it disturbs me that so many people are out to get "big business." It is the dream, and the only place to actually attain the dream, of anyone in a capitalist society, to start their own business and succeed based on their creativity, intelligence and sheer willpower. Its those that won't take the time to develop any of these skills in themselves that are so quick to putdown those that have made a success of their lives. If working conditions are so terrible, why don't you start a store of your own? the people who started Barnes and Nobles didn't start off corporate giants. They started like everyone else does. Through a dream, a desire, hard work and using their creative imagination to create something that the public wants and needs. Why are you threatened by someone else who has already done it? Most would learn from the successes and failures, and do something equally as great on their own. Why do I feel like THIS feedback won't make it to your webpage? Debbie

email: dln@neycom.mail.net

name: debbie

comments: >stop your crying. someone who can do web pages and internet research like this has no need of retail employment. > >NO ONE need a union. unions are the single most destructive force in american labor today. why does it cost so much for a car? unions. >why is healthcare so expensive? unions >why is the governmental papermill so obstructive and government employees so unresponsive? unions >i don't have strong feelings for nafta or other global trade arrangements, however, anything that the unions oppose so strongly must be good for america. > >in the early part of this century, unions had a place. but now the only good union is sets a and b. > >Mark >

>email: >mhall@paranor.mc.duke.edu

> >name: >Mark Hall >

Editors Note: It seems that union organizing is actually great for corporate profits. Take a look at the value of B&N stock since union organizing began in earnest:

comments: I feel bad for your situation. you are confused regardless of your talents and efforts. all the union would do for its employees is accelerate the end of the "physical" bookstore. The medium we are conversing with now will doom the average bookstore in the future anyway. raising labor costs would only make it happen more quickly. you should remember that there were far better bookstores before B&N who were run out of business by the "cutthroat" competition B&N represented. that's how it goes. stop wasting your time. move on. open a specialty bookstore or do something online for yourself. you have talent go cut a stake on your own. chris hammond email: investch@worldpath.net

comments: You have too much time on your hands. Quit breathing my air.

email: antiunion@ups.com

name: Concerned Citizen/Real Book Person

editor's note: UPS? Real Book Person?

I read that the Borders contract did not offer any increase in pay and that the benefits package was not as comprehensive as the previous corporate package. Pub Weekly says that they only will get 4% increases every year, currently with my performance ratings I qualify for about 7% per year..why should I switch? And how are union dues effected by this deal? Does the union operate for free? Do the booksellers that do not join have to pay 300-$500 per year in dues? Part timers? Just want the whole story....this just seems fishy.


name: jane q bookseller

editor's note: Dear Jane Q - The fishyiness really begins with the fact that you did not provide a return mail address. Also, you misquoted typical union dues as well as Chicago Borders worker's wage increase (it is, in fact 4.5%) . Their contract also guarantees their raises and provides for an impartial grievance procedure, seniority guarantees, extra personal days plus an opportunity to renegotiate a higher wage when the contract expires and keeps all aspects of the previous benefits package (and, this does not even include the sense of community and solidarity between workers that organizing brings about). Right now, Jane, you are guaranteed nothing - least of all a 7% carrot on a stick. Most employees in our store have had their wages increased at least 23% since organizing began in September! As far as union dues go, if you don't like a contract, don't sign it. According to your logic, if a negotiated contract offers me an extra $20 per week, but I have to pay $4.75 in dues then I should just complain rather than put that $15.25 in my pocket. Please see the Borders Employee Bulletin Board for a discussion of these issues. Also, you really should talk to someone at a local union rather than sending unsigned mail here if you want the whole story. This is the last time an unsigned letter will ever receive a response.

comments: I stumbled across your web site while trying to access the B&N home site. Just for kicks I read a portion of your material. As a completely unbiased observer, several thoughts occurred to me. Your statement: "I love the work I do for B&N and if I agree to work everyday and very hard at my job, shouldn't I be guaranteed a job when I wake up in the morning?" really got to me. It's this whole attitude of "I have a right to a job" that is causing the government to get involved in things in which they have no business being involved, namely business. You got paid didn't you? Then B&N kept their end of the deal. If you don't like the way they do business and you're as good at your job as you say you are, then go get a better one at another company. THAT'S capitalism. Complaining about the fact that a percentage of profits go to stockholders, whose investment has allowed your corporation to exist, is like complaining about paying employees who operate the business; They're not mutually exclusive; you must have one to have the other. Suggesting unions will solve your problems is like suggesting that the lottery will solve a state's financial woes. Just ain't so. If you want to destroy a company, unionize it's employees. And if you think the recent UPS strike was beneficial to the rank and file, I suggest you ask them what they got and what it cost them. A moral victory? Perhaps, but my bank won't cash a 'moral' check. In reality, UPS has permanently lost business to Fed Ex and others. Now, where do you suppose they'll start cutting expenses to offset the loss? Thanks a lot, Teamsters! Your whole diatribe sounds like something out of Orwell's "Animal Farm". If you'd put as much effort into improving your skills as you did into researching and publishing this web site you might realize some of the financial gains with which you are so obsessed.

email: kale.woods@eds.com

name: Kale Woods

editor's note: According to academic and professional studies, unionized companies are, on the whole, more productive. You should try reading Homage to Catalonia not Animal Farm.

comments: Get a life! No one forces you to work anywhere: everyone has choices. If you don't like the policies of a particular company, you can work somewhere else. Reading your wonderfully twisted slant reminded me of the propaganda I read when I was a Russian Studies major in college. Sorry, but you have not been exposed to the real world yet. So much of this reminds me of the "I'm here, pay me!" attitude of the booksellers I worked with in the Bay Area.

email: eireish@AOL.com

comments: you are a fabulous site designer, although you are a communist idiot and have no idea why you even have a job.

email: hotjava@pipeline.com

editor's note: On Orwell and commie-baiting please see "The Orwell Diversion" excerpt from Taking the Risk Out of Democracy by Alex Carey - University of Illinois Press 1997.

Now, a Bit of history:

"we are fast approximating towards the disagreeable, servile, and degrading state of the English laborer."

as well as

"The present affords a favorable opportunity to all persons who feel at all interested in the general good of the whole people, for giving a free expression of their views and peculiar feelings on this subject and of securing joint efforts to carry forward a thorough and effective change,"

Published in The Working Man's Advocate Fall River, Massachusetts, June 29, 1844

Resolution Passed By New England Workingmen's Convention:

"to investigate the causes of the present fearful and still daily increasing disparities of social condition"

-"The Awl" Boston, Massachusetts Oct. 23, 1844

And The National Industrial Congress proposal in 1845:

"to propose and adopt such measures as shall be found necessary to secure the rights of honest industry,"

-The Awl April 5, 1845


"the imperative duty we owe to one another and ourselves to give all the information in our power to the procurance of sure, steady and profitable employment"
-The Voice of Industry Nov. 28, 1845

Please see these and many other relevant citations from American Newspapers published by American workers in a book

"The Industrial Worker 1840-1860" by Norman Ware ISBN 0929587251 Ivan R. Dee Chicago 1990

Sounds to me like that slant came 70 years before Bolshevism and is American as apple pie and a hemisphericly ported 426 cubic inch Chrysler four speed, dual quad, positraction 1967 Dodge "Super Bee" Charger.

Those pesky Russians.

They always copy everything we do.

I believe everyone is entitled to express an opinion.



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