Some tough news for lovers of Powell's Books—31 workers are getting laid off (PDF).
Here's the news from the union for the workers at Powell's:
"On February 7th, 2011, ILWU Local 5, the union that represents the workers of Powell's Books, Inc., was given official notification of the Company's decision to layoff just over 7.5% of its union workforce. While this announcement is an unfortunate and sad event, it is not a surprise.
Over the past several years of economic turmoil, Powell's and Local 5 have worked together though various means in order to avoid layoffs and ensure our joint success. These collective efforts allowed for the Company to navigate though the worst of the recession. Despite this, the Company has ultimately decided to initiate the layoff procedure. That procedure, which was negotiated in our union contract, reflects the basic and fair principle of rights based on senioirty, tempered by business need. It also establishes a recall process by which those workers who are displaced, will have first preference for future hiring in the bookstore.
As in the past, ILWU Local 5 remains committed to working with Powell's Books, Inc. on the ideas we have to increase efficiencies, better the lives of workers and ensure that Powell's and Local 5, are here for booklovers in generations to come.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local #5 was established in 2000 when workers successfully negotiated our first contract with Powell's Books, Inc. Representing the 400 talented and dedicated booksellers of Powell's, we have worked hard to ensure the continued success of the business as well as the fair and equitable treatment for ourselves and our coworkers."