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Philadelphia City Council Resolution - December 4, 1996

Urging Borders to reinstate Miriam fried, a bookseller at their Center City Philadelphia store, who was discharged in retaliation for her union organizing activities.

WHEREAS, Borders is currently the largest bookstore in Philadelpia with stores in Center City and Chestnut Hill; and

WHEREAS, Since Borders came to Philadelphia, aproximately five years ago, it has become a cultural and commercial centerpiece of Downtown Philadelphia, hosting local and national authors, musical performances, storytelling for children, promoting charitable endeavors, offering discounts to elementary and secondary teachers and displaying a community bulletin board; and

WHEREAS, One of the hallmarks of all the Borders Bookstores both here and throughout the country, is that all booksellers must pass a literature proficiency testbefore being hired, thus assuring a high quality of sales staff; and

WHEREAS, In the beginning of 1996, a union drive organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) began, culminating in an election at the end of March where the union was narrowly defeated as a result of management's promises to improve the working environment; and

WHEREAS, On June 15, 1996, Miriam Fried, a Borders Bookseller and Philadelphia resident, with excellent work evaluations, was summarily discharged allegedly for a dispute over store policy. In reality, she was fired because she was an outspoken and key union supporter. An unfair labor complaint is currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board; and

WHEREAS, Bookstores such as Borders are basic to our free society in that they promote a diversity of opinion. But an equally important tenet of a free society is the right to freely associate and advocate for the formation of unions; now therefore,

RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY IF PHILADELPHIA, that we urge Borders to reinstate bookseller Miriam Fried and restore its reputation as a socially-responsible company.

Introduced by: Councilman David Cohen December 4, 1996