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The IWW Campaign at Borders Inc.

The booksellers at Borders Bookshop in Center City Philadelphia waged a struggle in the spring of 1996 for union representation with the Industrial Workers of the World. After the company hired a notorious union-busting law firm and browbeat its employees for a month (sometimes in ways that blatantly violated Federal labor laws) the union was narrowly defeated (20-25) in a vote on March 27, 1996.

Miriam Fried worked at Borders for about one year before she was wrongfully fired by General Manager Dave Stewart on June 15th. During her employment she was twice given excellent evaluations. Stewart himself wrote on March 7 that "she provides a fine model for other booksellers with her work ethic and her book knowledge." She was never written up or given warnings about anything. She was fired for discussing how certain cash register policies were never followed by staff or managers and how inconsistent management responses had frustrated her and her co-workers. Three days after terminating Miriam, management changed the cash register policy, exactly according to her recommendations.

In a nation-wide, grassroots effort to compel Borders Inc. to give up its union-busting practices, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has called for a boycott of all Borders, Waldenbooks and Planet Records (all owned in common) stores.

The IWW Responds

Pickets at Borders

Borders Union Busting

Support for the Union

Articles about Borders and Unions