Borders' Unfair Labor Practices

Yoshie Furuhashi yfuruhas at MAGNUS.ACS.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Wed Aug 28 11:42:32 MDT 1996

Please forward this message to your friends and encourage them to contact
Borders Bookshop to protest their union-busting ways.
Yoshie Furuhashi

Borders Bookshop's Unfair Labor Practices
Bookshop Worker Fired For Union Organizing

On June 15, 1996, the General Manager of the Borders Bookshop in Center City
Philadelphia, PA fired Miriam Fried, a member of the IWW Union Organizing
Committee for challenging the store's rarely enforced check acceptance policy.
Less than 72 hours later he changed the policy as she had suggested. Miriam had
an outstanding record while working at Borders Bookshop. She worked there for
over a year. The lead clerk at the Philadelphia store describes her as "one of
the [store's] very finest booksellers." We view her firing as a transparent
attempt to break up the IWW's drive to organize a labor union among Borders
Bookshop employees in the wake of a narrow defeat in a March 27 National Labor
Relations Board-sponsored election. Miriam Fried was one of the most visible
and spirited union supporters at the store and is continuing her efforts to
build a union for Borders Bookshop employees.

Financial analysts have identified Borders Bookshop's well-trained
customer-oriented staff as the bookstore chain's chief asset. Despite this,
they are paid only $6.50 per hour (a salary few people could hope to live on)
and have no say in the conditions of their work. While Borders Bookshop's
highly-skilled staff members toiled for $13,000 per year in 1994, the bookstore
chain's two top executives were paid a salary of $790,000 each and owned stock
worth nearly $28 million (excluding long-term stock options)! Borders Bookshop
employees from across the country have approached the IWW and other labor
unions asking for assistance in unionizing their fellow employees. Borders
Bookshop's Management responded with a slick anti-union mudslinging campaign,
hiring a notorious union-busting attorney, captive meetings, misinformation and
now by firing pro-union employees.

Borders Bookshop tries to market its chain of stores as a champion of
progressive political causes. Borders Bookshop could easily afford to pay its
employees a living wage, but instead it prefers to violate Federal labor laws
by firing those employees brave enough to stand up for their rights and ask for
fair and honest working conditions. Borders Bookshop workers need your help.
Please let Borders Bookshop's Management know that you won't patronize their
stores until they give Miriam Fried her job back and respect the right of their
employees to organize a union. Call Borders Bookshop's Corporate Headquarters
at 1-800-644-7733, contact their web site at or write
them at:

Borders Bookshop
Corporate Headquarters
311 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Thank you,

Industrial Workers of the World
Los Angeles Area General Membership Branch
(213)368-4604       http//


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