PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Wednesday, local union ILWU Local 5 shared that employees at Powell’s Books had voted to authorize a strike, with 92% approval.
The union said that they are hoping that the vote will lead to negotiations for better wages and healthcare for Powell’s employees.
On Thursday, Powell’s shared a comment with KOIN 6 saying they respect their right to “engage in protected union activity,” and that they hope to reach an agreement with the employees soon.
Read the full statement below:
“ILWU Local 5 has informed Powell’s Books that the union would like to meet again and we remain committed to the bargaining process. Though we have not been informed directly of a strike vote or an intent to strike, we deeply value our employees and respect their right to engage in protected union activity. Powell’s Books has successfully engaged in contract negotiations with ILWU Local 5 for more than two decades, each time finding common ground that unites us. Our latest proposal includes immediate wage increases and further upholds excellent healthcare benefits that allow us to remain competitive in a challenging economic environment for retail. We are hopeful that we will reach an agreement soon that is sustainable and honors our employees.” — Powell’s Books
The vote to authorize a strike does not mean that the strike will happen, but that employees are prepared to strike if needed.