strand bookstore union

It also began to sell discounted new books and non-book merchandise. Long live The Strand! So it really wasnt surprising, but it was disheartening. [18] His first bookstore was the Pelican Book Shop on Eighth Street near Greene Street. I find it is fun to simply get lost in there. Guzy said the union is bracing for a union-busting campaign come contract time..

Sign up to get the weeks best Longreads delivered to your inbox every Friday afternoon. There was a decline, during the post-World War II era, in booksellers former identifications with a genteel culture and a social elite, wrote Laura J. Miller in her book Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption. Hint - You'll probably get more money if you sell your books when others aren't -- so go during early mornings, driving rain, and other times like that. [22] She spearheaded major renovations and expansions of the store in 2005, and supervised the rollout of The Strand's official bookish merchandise, including t-shirts and totes, which now account for over 15% of the business's revenue. Individual booksellers may not make much of a difference in the case of Bob Woodwards Fear, for example but for debut authors or those who publish with an independent press, buzz among booksellers can mean a significant sales bump. Wyden sent out the plea for help at the end of October, saying that the Strand's revenue dropped by 70 percent in 2020. Powells in Portland, Oregon unionized in 1999 under the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. [35], On July 15, 2020, the Strand opened a new location on the Upper West Side, replacing Book Culture. We could have easily spent several hours browsing if we werent already tired at the end of a long cold day. I liked my co-workers, I attended fewer funerals, and I didnt have to stay up until 4 a.m. every night when I had class in the morning; although because I was hired at $10 an hour, I still had to bartend on my days off to make ends meet. Bass Wyden has since claimed that the firings were a result of the Strands drastically cut finances amid the pandemic but that was the very point of securing a PPP loan. So people are snobs. For some employees, it was the third time they had been fired in 2020, said the news release. Keep it alive! For rare books, go to the Rare Book Room on the Third floor of the bookstore, and they will give you a price if they are interested. Row after row. The store shot down nearly all of the unions proposals and proposed a wage freeze once New York Citys minimum wage is raised to $15 at the end of this year. It may well be that we live in an epoch in which the bookshop is an institution suspended between the dying old society and the society struggling to be born, he wrote. But the store has expanded its offsite business in recent years, with outposts in Bryant Park and Times Square. Strand Bookstore does not currently offer online activities. It comes with a certain cultural cachet and many use it as a transitional job out of service and into a salary a stepping stone into publishing or writing for those who cant take an unpaid internship. Still, the low pay is hard to swallow. All things considered, none of the contracts are a bad deal for an entry level retail job, but bookselling isnt exactly just retail. Dawson worked at the Strand for three years, first in the basement and then in the visual merchandising department. Honestly, shut up with the tote bags, wrote another. If you make $13 [an hour] now, for example, and you get bumped up to $15, you have to pay back that wage increase, 25 cents every six months, by forgoing your semi-annual increase.. Workers pay 33.3 percent of their healthcare premiums.

Strand Bookstore is powered by Sawyer, the easy-to-use business management software powering the best children's activity providers across the country. A source told me the store was negotiating in good faith, although admittedly the most significant gains for workers this year are due to the minimum wage increase rather than the goodwill of management and theres still some resentment among workers who werent bumped over $15. The address of Strand Bookstore (At Strand Bookstore) is 828 Broadway New York, NY 10003 - Union Square. Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels in New York City, Four Points by Sheraton Hotels in New York City, The Leading Hotels Of The World in New York City, Curio Collection by Hilton Hotels in New York City, Ascend Collection Hotels in New York City, Hotels with Military Discounts in New York City, Hotels near The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Hotels near The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hotels near Brooklyn Bridge City Hall, Hotels near John F. Kennedy Intl Airport (JFK), Hotels near Newark Liberty Intl Airport (EWR), Motels near Newark Liberty Intl Airport (EWR), Motels near John F. Kennedy Intl Airport (JFK), Hotels near Pacific College - New York, NY, Hotels near Institute of Culinary Education, Hotels near Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hotels near Metropolitan College of New York, Allswell Communities Holiday Parks - parent brand in New York City, Boat Tours & Water Sports in New York City, Dolphin & Whale Watching in New York City, Parasailing & Paragliding in New York City, Observatories & Planetariums in New York City, Public Transportation Systems in New York City, Game & Entertainment Centers in New York City, Fishing Charters & Tours in New York City, Architectural Buildings in Greenwich Village, Historic Walking Areas in Greenwich Village, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Liberty Island, Churches & Cathedrals in Greenwich Village, The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum: Tickets & Tours, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Tickets & Tours, Empire State Building: Tickets & Tours, One World Observatory: Tickets & Tours, Grand Central Terminal: Tickets & Tours, Radio City Music Hall: Tickets & Tours, Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Hollywood Hills. A total of 188 employees were laid off last March. The New York institution has long been at the center of controversy for its failure to commit to the ideals of hard work and resilience that Wyden cites as the stores historic strengths. It has thousands and thousands of books across all kinds of subjects. Fine! "The Strand is the institution it is because of the unique and dedicated individuals who work there. Rebecca McCarthy is a freelance writer and a bookseller. In an e-mail to PW, Bass Wyden said, "I am disappointed the union continues to engage in a divisive and false campaign during a time when cooperation and flexibility is more important than ever before. Theres an enormous amount of turnover. [27] Owner Nancy Bass Wyden objected and campaigned heavily against the designation, citing regulatory barriers to proposed renovations and increased costs of running the business as obstacles to running her independent business; she also contrasted the treatment of her store to the reception of Amazon HQ2 in New York, saying "Im not asking for money or a tax rebate, just leave me alone. Anyone whos been working there for less than a year as of January 1st will be bumped up to $15.25, anyone whos been there for over a year will make $15.50. Im going to pull out all the stops to keep sharing our mutual love of the written word, Bass Wyden wrote in an open letter to customers on Oct. 23. This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher. [20] At 16, she began taking phone requests, working the cash register, and managing the store's Central Park kiosks. [23], Wyden become the co-owner of the store on her father's retirement in November 2017. The beloved book store is the last of the original 48 book shops still standing on the famous 4th Avenue Book Row in Lower Manhattan. Book Culture, in Morningside Heights, unionized (despite an enormous amount of pushback from the owner) in 2014 with the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union. I was in a bit of a rush, so I didn't get to explore all that much, but from what I saw this was amazing. In all likelihood, the Strand isnt going anywhere, and if it is, maybe its better that way. With contract negotiations slated to begin this summer, booksellers are anxious that Bass Wydens actions signal a rough road ahead. You could make a living writing short stories! Ultimately, the store won.

The company's slogan is "18 Miles Of Books," as featured on its stickers, T-shirts, and other merchandise. The coworkers [at the Strand] are amazing [but] the bureaucracy is lacking. The bookstore guarantees $11 an hour, maybe more depending on their profit sharing model. EAST VILLAGE, NY Disgruntled workers from the Strand Bookstore union, the iconic bookshop in Lower Manhattan, are set to rally Monday outside the flagship store at 12th Street and Broadway to "decry ownership's union-busting tactics during the global pandemic.". Nice merch. It has few defenders. Every dollar you contribute goes to writers and publishers who spend hours, weeks, and months reporting and writing outstanding stories. This was only the beginning of negotiations and its normal for the store to take a hard line in their initial offering, but employees were still worried. Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information. The Strand is a New York City institution. In a, Staff writer Sofia Andrade can be reached at. Organizing is always a good thing, the Strand unions Guzy said. According to an article in the Village Voice, during an argument Nancy Bass tried to open a door, and, depending on which side youre with, she was either shoved by an employee, or she punched him. Workers at the time described her as confrontational and a monster. In 2008, the union considered a strike over rising healthcare premiums and (separately) charges of racial discrimination were filed against the store with the National Labor Relations Board, although the complaint was ultimately withdrawn. This was in the sixties, before big box chains, before Amazon, before the internet. The carts were a dream in themselves. In late June, the Strand rehired 33 of those workers, bringing the total staff to 57 before again firing 12 workers over email two weeks later. These booksellers see themselves as bettering society by making books available. More than publishers, more than authors even, booksellers are true believers. Rebecca McCarthy | Longreads | October 2018 | 13 minutes (3,497 words), The Strand is the largest and most divisive of New York Citys independent bookstores. [The stores] main agenda is to make it a shitty place to work, says Farrell. No Thanks, the Strand Says", Television on Print: "A literary conversation with Tom Verlaine", "At the Strand Bookstore, a Retail Labor Struggle in the Age of Amazon and Occupy", "Strand Bookstore Workers Reject Contract", "In New York Bookstore Contract Fight, Occupy Helped Workers Draw Energy, Media Spotlight ", "Stranded by construction, book store will close its doors", "Fred Bass, Who Made the Strand Bookstore a Mecca, Dies at 89", "Strand Bookstore Finds A Way To Sell Online Amid Coronavirus", "How A 90-Year-Old Bookstore Got Into The Business Of Totes", "Benjamin Bass, 77, Was Founder Of the Strand UsedBook Store", "Owner of New York's Strand Turned Struggling Book Store Into a Literary Landmark", "The Author's Bookshelf: The Bass Family", "The Strand bookstore at 90: Co-owner Nancy Bass Wyden looks back and ahead", "The Strand bookstore fights landmark status as it battles for survival", "Who is Ron Wyden's Wife? This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher. In a statement, the United Auto Workers Union, of which some Strand workers are a part, called the firings "an escalation of Bass Wydens long-standing pattern of wanton disregard for the physical, mental and financial well-being of her employees.. In 2019 new hires will start at $15 New York Citys minimum wage.

Does anyone know how much money (give or take) they give when you sell books? Wages stagnated as unions declined, but over the last year a wave of strikes has spread across the country and the message is pretty clear. The Strand got into internet bookselling very early on and their Books by the Foot program designs sets for movies and TV shows; a separate division offers Library Services. Located near union square park, this can be easily called a book lover's paradise. [16] While the store continues to boast the slogan, "18 miles of books," they now house over "23 miles" of books. How many concessions are workers supposed to make so that the very rich never see their bottom line move? We want to dramatically increase our story fund this year, but we can't do it without your support. The New York institution has long been at the center of controversy for its failure to commit to the ideals of hard work and resilience that Wyden cites as the stores historic strengths. I was even the chair of the Political Issues Committee of the National Writers Union local at the time and the most I could muster from them was a resolution of support (which I had to write myself) not a single NWU member would show up at the Borders pickets, either.. [34], Bass Wyden also drew criticism for purchasing $115,000 in Amazon stock in April and May, and then $60,000 to $200,000 of the stock in June,[41] after having previously characterized the company as a threat to the Strand's survival. [10] On April 5, 2012, unionized workers at the store rejected a new contract;[11] on June 15, 2012, workers ratified a new contract. [1][2] In addition to the main location, there is another store on the Upper West Side on Columbus Ave between West 81st and 82nd Streets,[3] as well as kiosks in Central Park and Times Square, and a curated shelf at Moynihan Train Hall. Strand Bookstore provides classes for kids ages 0 mo - 12 yrs. Jaffe spoke to Amy Mizialko, the president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association. But theres an argument to be made that the Strand at least should be held to a higher standard. Union booksellers held a rally outside the Strands flagship location in New York City on Monday afternoon, protesting the stores labor practices after a year of worsening relations between employees and owner Nancy Bass Wyden. This year, mere weeks prior to applying for and receiving a PPP loan, Bass Wyden, a millionaire, fired the majority of the Strands 212 person staff 170 of which were unionized despite accepting the $1 million to $2 million loan on the condition that they keep their staff. Through all of this, the Strand has thrived, largely thanks to the exorbitant price of New York City real estate. According to data from Publishers Weekly, Amazon accounts for roughly half of the market at this point, Borders is closed, book sales at chains like Walmart and Costco have steadily declined, and Barnes and Noble is descending rapidly into the mire of debt and sexual harassment allegations. The Strand headed into contract negotiations in August of this year, with the union initially proposing better healthcare coverage, three additional personal days per year, and an hourly raise of $1.50 a year. Anyone hired after December 31 would not receive a raise until the contract is renewed three or four years from now. Would be great if they added some seating here and there, the only chairs we found were in the childrens section, but sometimes you just need to sit while you wait for the rest of your party. Masters of the Camera NYC Rooftop Photoshoot, Shopping Tours Historical & Heritage Tours. The Strand Bookstore has two types of books they buy: Regular books and Rare books. People are struggling. For the first time in The Strands 93 year history, we need to mobilize our community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine.. It is also huge and you can easily become overwhelmed looking for anything specific. Click here to retrieve reset your password. [19][14] The store now occupies three and a half floors, with another one and half floors for offices. Like many bookstores, the Strand was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. PW site license members have access to PWs subscriber-only website content. [14], Wyden is married to United States Senator for Oregon, Ron Wyden,[24] whom she met while on a trip to Portland to see Powell's Books. In December 2018, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission held a hearing on the topic of designating The Strand as a city landmark. Workers staged a protest, picketing outside the stores 85th birthday party (hosted by Bravos Andy Cohen for some reason) in the third-floor rare book room. To be competent you need to be able to work a cash register, to be good you need to read widely and have at least a cursory understanding of basically everything. Its basically a wage loan instead of a wage increase, says Greg Farrell, who has worked at the store since 2007 and is the author of On the Books: A Graphic Tale of Working Woes at NYCs Strand Bookstore. Become a Longreads Member for just $3 per month. The protest drew more than two dozen booksellers including book workers from nearby Bluestockings Bookstore, Cafe, and Activist Center. The Strand offered stability and a less traumatic day-to-day experience. [8] Other celebrity employees include Richard Hell,[7] Neil Winokur, Adam Bellow,[9] Sam Shephard, Mary Gaitskill, Burt Britton, Lucy Sante, Marvin Mondlin, Ken Schles, and Thomas Weatherly Jr. . For off-site access, click here. The store had proposed a two-tier payment system, under which new hires would receive reduced benefits and pay higher premiums. Shes currently in law school. Or theyll take a summer job or something. Powells employees currently pay 23 percent of healthcare premiums. A ridiculous time! (Employees currently receive a 25-cent raise every six months.) The selection is excellent and the staff are helpful. [12], Besides the main store and Central Park kiosk, an additional location called the "Strand Book Annex" opened in the 1980s and was originally located on Front Street in the South Street Seaport complex. Mass. We come here each time we are in Manhattan to shop for books, both new and used.

It is always disheartening to work under a multi-millionaire when your coworkers struggle to make rent and buy groceries. [14], The bookstore had 70,000 books in its early years, which increased by the mid-1960s to 500,000. If you're searching for enriching camps for your family, discover hundreds in our summer camp hub. They also participate in seasonal holiday markets in Union Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle. Even McNally Jackson is now being forced out of their Prince Street location after the landlord increased the rent from $360,000 to $850,000. Management went back to the drawing board after the union rejected their initial offer and on September 25th they ratified a contract. In the meantime, Bass Wyden has instead personally invested $160,000 to $400,000 in Amazon stock, the very corporation she has claimed has hurt the independent bookstore in the past. The store, it seems, has taken note. We still live under the tyranny of the free market though, and the margins on frontlist bookselling are still very slim after expenses the average American bookstore is only clearing about a two percent profit. I read a lot! The contract is a win, overall, but the stores marketing still grates. Those allegations led to arbitration between the company and the union. Strictly speaking, no theyre ultimately just stores and the margins in frontlist bookselling are very low. The Strand is a family-owned business with more than 230 employees. The most expensive book is a copy of James Joyce's Ulysses at $38,000. (About twenty percentof the Strands revenue comes from merch. According to a news release from UAW Local 2179, Wyden hired some staff back in the fall of 2020 after a public plea for business brought in a major uptick in sales, but then laid off the majority of those rehired workers Christmas week.