Book Soup, West Hollywood’s storied bookstore, unionizes amid a larger organizing wave

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The employees of Book Soup, West Hollywood’s self-proclaimed “bookseller to the great and infamous,” are embarking on a new chapter as members of a union.

Last month Vroman’s, which owns the bookstore, voluntarily recognized its employees’ union, marking a big victory for the dozen or so booksellers who will be represented.

At the forefront of employees’ demands are wage increases and additional staffing; among their concerns are disability access, fairer distribution of labor, greater transparency from leadership, and “democratic decision making in the workplace,” according to a social media post. The union is currently in bargaining.

“There were issues we had that were ongoing that weren’t being addressed… and the union was our way of setting certain boundaries, which is healthy to do in any relationship,” said Audrey Kaufman, senior supervisor at Book Soup and organizing committee member. “We had seen other independent bookstores in the area and around the country unionize around the same time and that was inspiring — that we could set those boundaries and have those legal protections from retribution.”

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