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    Powell’s bookstore brings back laid-off workers to fulfill online orders.

    Jonny Diamond

    March 30, 2020, 11:40am

    Powell’s in Portland—one of the largest independent bookstores in the country—announced via Facebook on Friday that because of the surge in online book orders “we now have over 100 folks working at Powell’s again—all full time with benefits.” This is good news—100 more people with wages and benefits is good for any community.

    However, the ILWU Local 5 (which represents Powell’s booksellers) was quick to point out that “only 49 frontline bookstore workers have been recalled to their frontline positions. The other 51+ are management staff doing frontline bookseller, shelver, and shipping work, instead of the union workers who were trained to do this work and did that work every day.”

    So, if you have the means, keep ordering books at bookstores you love, but also think of diverting some of that money to worker relief funds: $1,200 is not going to be enough.

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