search btn

Photo By: 
Williamette Weekly

Online Bookstore Alternate to Amazon

Union shop set up a way for holiday purchases to help laid off employees

Brian Young's picture
Dec 11, 2020

The pandemic has hit many industries very hard, but small businesses, especially in retail, have been some of the hardest hit. Unlike big companies, many of these businesses don’t have billions in savings or stockholders to keep their money coming in during the shutdowns.

One such business is Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Powell’s has a collective bargaining agreement with ILWU Local 5 and about 400 members work at the bookstore. Powell’s is the largest independent bookstore in the country and one of the largest in the world. Yet in March when states began to shut down, the store was forced to lay off all 400 workers. Fortunately, 1/3 of the members have been hired back, but the local is dealing with over 250 members who are out of work.

To help out these laid-off workers, ILUW Local 5 is asking for the larger labor community’s help. For years, ILWU has run an affiliate link program with Powell’s where a percentage of the sales would go into the union’s strike fund. However, with so many people laid off, those proceeds are now being diverted into a relief fund to provide aid and support for the laid-off members. Not only will your purchase help to provide some needed relief for these workers, but it will also increase Powell’s revenue allowing them to hire back some of the laid-off workers.

Instead of using an anti-union company like Amazon to buy your books this holiday season, consider supporting a union company and supporting union workers. When you use the affiliate link, 7.5% of the sale will go back to the union.

Watch and share the promo below from UCOMM Live to encourage your friends and family to help out Local 5 and a local union employer. You can also listen to a short interview with Myka Dubay of Local 5 from her appearance on Working to Live in Southwest Washington.

Click here to help out a union employer and to help the laid-off ILWU workers.

Sign up for our e-Newsletter!