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Politics and Prose is now the first unionized bookstore in Washington, D.C.

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January 4, 2022, 12:55pm

A happy update: Washington, DC bookstore Politics and Prose’s union, supported by UFCW Local 400, has now been formally recognized by the bookstore, making it the first unionized bookstore in DC. This comes after a banner year for labor activism in bookselling—and half a month after the news that the owners of Politics and Prose had initially refused to recognize the employees’ union and hired Jones Day, a union-busting law firm.

“We are proud to join the growing movement of booksellers and baristas across the country who have unionized their workplaces,” wrote the Politics and Prose organizing committee in a statement. “Forming our union has not only served as an affirmation of our shared values within the Politics and Prose community, it will also strengthen our workplace and ensure the long-term success of our beloved community hub. We look forward to negotiating our first contract and welcoming more bookstore workers in DC and beyond into our union family.”

For their part, Politics and Prose owners Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine said in a statement: “As stewards of a local, independent business with a 37-year legacy of progressive management and mission, we’ve valued collaborating with employees to solve problems and address needs, and we look forward to working with the union in the same spirit.”

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