According to UFCW Local 400, the three-year contract covers roughly 50 current workers and builds on previous benefits.
WASHINGTON — Iconic bookstore and coffeehouse Politics and Prose has become the first bookstore in D.C. to unionize and reach a contract.
Politics and Prose co-owners Brad Graham and Lissa Muscatine first voluntarily recognized the union in January 2022. Contract negotiations then began and were tentatively agreed upon in August.
In a release Tuesday, The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 400 announced workers voted to ratify their first collective bargaining agreement to become the first bookstore in D.C. to both unionize and reach a contract.
“The ratification this morning shows that the workers are eager to start this new chapter at Politics and Prose,” said John Fisher, a branch bookseller at the Wharf location. “It’s not a mystery, it’s not a thriller. When workers first considered unionizing, some people thought it was fantasy. But now it’s a reality and I’m excited to find out what happens next.”
Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400, said the “groundbreaking contact” was reached in record time.
Politics and Prose co-owners Brad Graham and Lissa Muscatine released a statement following the agreement:
“We’re pleased to have reached mutual agreement with UFCW Local 400 on P&P’s first union contract. The agreement incorporates key policies and practices that have been in place at P&P for years, affirming the bookstore’s proud history of supporting our staff. Other provisions build on this history and will bring additional clarity and structure to P&P’s operations. We look forward to continuing to work cooperatively and constructively with the union in achieving our joint goal of strengthening P&P for our community of readers.”
According to UFCW Local 400, the three-year contract covers roughly 50 current workers and builds on previous benefits, including better pay, better scheduling, protections against “Just Cause” discipline or firings, establishes grievance procedures, expands on existing anti-discrimination language and establishes a “labor-management committee” for workers to address ongoing concerns with management.
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