At a Borders bookstore in Minneapolis, employees walked into their break room
recently to find a box of candy and three cases of soda pop had mysteriously
appeared. A few days later, the company's regional manager came to town, chatting
the employees up about their jobs and offering assistance with any workplace
Why all the extra attention?
According to City Pages, a local alternative newspaper, it's because the employees
had just announced they were seeking union representation.
Holly Krig, a two-year employee of the store and union supporter, wondered
what would come next: "Maybe a pony? Steaks?"
Next month, 20 employees of the Uptown Borders store will vote on whether to
join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789. If the labor drive is
successful, the store will become the only unionized Borders in the country.
But City Pages notes that the book and music chain is no stranger to labor
disputes. Since 1996, 11 Borders stores have held union elections; four ended
with workers voting for outside representation. All four of those unions expired,
however, after employee interest faded and the unions voluntarily withdrew.
Still, to be on the safe side, Borders also relies on the counsel of Jackson
Lewis, a national law firm with a reputation for union busting.