McKay’s workers aim to unionize, host community event to gather support – WVLT

McKay’s workers aim to unionize, host community event to gather support – WVLT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Employees at used book store McKay’s Knoxville are working to unionize, and they are hosting a community event to gather support.
McKay’s employees are currently being represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and a representative with CWA told WVLT News that the employees are unhappy with their current work arrangement and wish to organize and negotiate a fair contract with their employer.
“For decades, the workers have served readers and hobbyists in the community by providing excellent service to customers and ensuring McKay’s reputation as a beloved institution to access a wide variety of affordable second-hand books and other forms of entertainment,” CWA said. “Unfortunately, this has come at a cost for the workers who are overworked, underpaid and mistreated.”
CWA also said that the majority of McKay’s employees support unionization but were denied voluntary recognition by the company. Now, they have filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), making the Knoxville store the first to seek formal recognition for their union. Next, the workers will vote on unionization.
“A strong majority of the group of roughly sixty eligible workers signed union authorization cards and have pledged to vote yes in the NLRB election,” CWA said.
Tuesday at 6 p.m., the employees hosted an event at the American Car Center, which is next door to McKay’s, to garner support. The workers represented by CWA cited the recent rise in Knoxville business unionizations as inspiration, including Starbucks and Three Rivers Market.
“We strongly believe we can find common ground, as Three Rivers Market did last summer, and we believe this will solidify McKay’s image as a caring and progressive space and employer,” reads McKay’s Knoxville workers’ vision statement. That statement also outlined specific concerns that employees have, including wages, scheduling and conflict-resolution.
Voting is currently underway, according to CWA, and ballots will be counted on Nov. 8.
WVLT News has reached out to McKay’s for a statement on the effort and will update this story when we hear back.
Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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