Barnes & Noble Staff at Upper West Side Opt for Unionization


At the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Barnes & Noble bookstore on West 82nd Street is witnessing its employees take a significant step towards unionization. The staff, numbering around 50, encompassing roles from booksellers and baristas to cashiers and maintenance workers, are rallying under the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Their collective aim, according to Publishers Weekly is not just to seek representation but to bring about meaningful changes in their workplace.

The move towards unionization springs from a deep-seated desire among the employees for job security, clear demarcation of job responsibilities, and equitable treatment by management. The workforce’s grievances highlight an underlying issue of favoritism and an unpredictable work environment that has led to dissatisfaction.

Eve Greenlow, a committed bookseller at the store, voices a sentiment that resonates with many of her colleagues. She articulates a vision for a workplace where employees do not live in constant worry over basic needs like affording groceries, where safe staffing levels are the norm, and where consistent working hours are guaranteed. Greenlow’s passion for her job is evident, as is her belief in the necessity of a stable and fair work environment to ensure a sustainable future at Barnes & Noble.

This initiative marks the sixth Barnes & Noble location nationwide to push for union recognition, with it being the third attempt in New York City alone. The employees have formally requested the company to recognize their union voluntarily, backed by a petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The unfolding events at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble are more than just a quest for improved job conditions; they represent a broader movement within the retail sector for workers’ rights and dignity. The employees’ steps towards unionization reflect a growing trend of workers coming together to demand a voice in their working conditions and a fair share in the fruits of their labor.

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Tina Pavlik

Owner of TRS since 2003

An aficionado of romance novels for many years, Tina has owned The Romance Studio since 2003 and for 20 years, has enjoyed highlighting the best books in the genre. She enjoys all aspects of marketing including writing content, book trailer design, and finding captivating new books for voracious readers. She has also written over 20 romance titles under various pen names. In another life, she writes horror and works as an extras casting assistant for TV shows and films in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.