Bookstore workers ratify union contract


Workers from four Twin Cities Half Price Books locations ratified their first union contracts on May 31, 2024. Workers unionized with the United Food and Commercial Workers Locals (UFCW) 663 and 1189 to secure better wages, working conditions and a seat at the table.
Because of Minnesota workers’ unionization efforts, employees company wide were able to realize 33% raises, with starting wages rising from $12 to $16. The contracts include job protections such as just cause, grievance procedures, and union representation.
Workers at Half Price Books’ Minnesota locations were the first in the nation to form a union with UFCW. In 2022, workers won their union elections at Coon Rapids (Northtown), Roseville, St. Louis Park and St. Paul and unionized with UFCW Local 663 and 1189. The locals have 2.5 and 3.5 year contracts, respectively.
Their collective advocacy sparked nationwide unionization efforts in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and California. Minnesota’s contact ratification efforts follow on the heels of UFCW members at Half Price Books in Greenwood, Ind., who ratified their first contract on May 24.
“Through the hard work of the entire bargaining committee, we have shown all of our coworkers the priceless value of having a union contract. This is going to help everyone at Half Price Books and it will continue for decades to come,” said Aaron Kerr, bookseller at the Roseville Half Price Books.
“This victory comes from the work of everyone at all our stores. We are looking forward to this new era at Half Price Books with an official union contract and representation,” said Wyatt Feten, a bookseller who works at the Northtown Half Price Books location in Coon Rapids.

Jessica Hayssen is the communications and legislative/political director, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 663.

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