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Barnes & Noble Union

We are unionizing at Barnes & Noble! 

At Barnes & Noble, booksellers are the ones creating value for the company and making our customers’ in-store experience special. Our hard work is the reason that readers across the country can come into our stores, grab a coffee, and enjoy browsing for their new favorite book. 

Our work has value, and we deserve fair treatment for everything we bring to Barnes & Noble. That’s why we’re forming a union to secure better wages, safer working conditions, comprehensive scheduling practices, and a true say in how our stores are run. We need protections written into a union contract, and you do too.

Join our seven unionized stores and our growing national movement – you can get involved by filling out the form below. We’ll put you in touch with an organizer so you can learn more about how to start a union at your Barnes & Noble store.

  • Get started unionizing your Barnes & Noble today!

  • Where do you work?

  • What brings you here today?

    Can you tell us more about your experience at work and what you want to improve there?
  • *By providing my cell phone number, I consent to receive blast text messages and robocalls on any topic from my local UFCW, International Union, and their affiliates. I reserve the right to opt-out at any time. We promise that we will not abuse your consent to text or call you.

Our Story:

Our union movement kicked off in early 2023, when workers at Barnes & Noble at Rutgers University formed their union with the help of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Since then, we’ve expanded to a total of 8 union stores nationwide. You can find us across California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

We can’t wait to keep growing our collective voice this year, reminding booksellers nationwide that we can thrive in our careers by coming together and standing up for our rights.

What We’re Fighting For:

The Barnes & Noble Union is a group of united booksellers coming together for:

Balanced Scheduling Practices

We need fair and concrete scheduling practices that help us do our best work and live balanced personal lives.

Better Job Security

With a union contract, we can protect each other from sudden layoffs and being fired unfairly. With just cause discipline procedures, we can maintain stable careers and thrive.

Fair Pay

Our work has value, and we deserve living wages for the profit we bring into the company.

Health Insurance & Stronger Benefits:

We deserve comprehensive health insurance that helps us take care of our well-being no matter the season.

Dignity and Respect on the Job

We bring knowledge and expertise to our stores, and we deserve respect for our contributions to Barnes & Noble’s mission.  

Safer Working Conditions

Our coworkers across the country are fighting for safer in-store conditions, including better in-store security to keep ourselves and customers safe on our high-traffic sales floors.


(NEW YORK, NY. March 14th, 2024) – Today, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), announced that, by an overwhelming vote of 85% in favor of the union, workers at the Barnes & Noble 82nd Street Store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan have voted to join the RWDSU. Their win follows six overwhelming union votes nationwide by workers at Barnes & Noble Inc. and one at Barnes & Noble Education so far. 

“We’re all thrilled and excited at the election result. The feeling of solidarity among employees at every position in the store is really incredible. We’re looking forward to beginning negotiations for fair pay and better working conditions,” said Esther Rosenfield, (She/Her), Senior Barista at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble store.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What does it look like to start a union with the UFCW? 

UFCW, along with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), currently represents Barnes & Noble booksellers across seven stores to get them the working conditions and benefits they need. 

When you form a union at your Barnes & Noble, you get the ability to negotiate your pay, policies, and benefits with your coworkers.

How many Barnes & Noble stores across the country have won a union election? 

Right now, 7 Barnes & Noble stores across the country have won union elections. We’re working each month to grow this number, and we can’t wait to see who joins us next. 

Want to learn more about how you can be a part of this nationwide movement? Reach out to an organizer today!

I Like working at Barnes & Noble – why would I want to form a union?

We’re unionizing at Barnes & Noble because we love our jobs too, and we want to make them even better. Starting a union gives you the power to come together with your coworkers and improve your working conditions more than you could do alone. Together, we have the power to make Barnes & Noble the outstanding company we know it can be.

Would unionizing change the things that I like about my Barnes & Noble store?

Once you file for your union election, it becomes illegal for Barnes & Noble to make any changes to your working conditions before your election day. Then, once you win your election, Barnes & Noble will have to bargain with you over any changes they want to make to the way your store is run. If there’s something you love about working at your store, it’ll be protected until you vote to secure it or make it better in a union contract.

Will talking about a union at work get me in trouble? 

You have a legal right to talk about your working conditions with anyone you’d like, including your coworkers at Barnes & Noble. However, there are definitely some smart ways to go about having these conversations. 

You can learn more about the safest ways to talk about a union at work by filling out the form above.

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