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Texas Bookstore Staff Vote for OPEIU Representation

November 17, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

AUSTIN, Tex.—Employees at Texas’s largest independent bookstore, BookPeople, have voted foreiu representation by the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 277, the union announced Nov. 14. “BookPeople workers were organizing months before we contacted OPEIU, and to see our efforts finally lead to representation is exhilarating,” inventory manager Patrick Watson said in a statement released by OPEIU. The organizing campaign by its 80 booksellers, event staff, and inventory managers won support from the Austin community, elected officials such as City Councilmember Greg Casar, and other unions. Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy praised Local 277 “for their commitment to organizing the unorganized in an innovative way.” “BookPeople has been part of my life since 1998,” said employee Staci Gray. “It is a magical place that has provided me with so many amazing people who are a part of my family. I want BookPeople to thrive so that these wonderful people can also make a living wage.” The bookstore, founded in 1970, is a local institution, described by writer Kinky Friedman as “one of the establishments that campaign actively to keep Austin weird.” Read more

November 17, 2018

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