Company Response

Borders, Inc. has responded harshly to unionization of their employees. They feel that they have no place in their workplace, and they hurt, not help employees. Strangely, this seems contradictory to their liberal upbringings.

Borders, Inc. started as a "serious book shop" that allowed various views to be expressed in their stores. When they became larger, they were viewed as the Ben Jerry's, socially conscious and liberal minded, of bookstores. They promote their "friendly, well-informed" employees as the cornerstone of their stores. The Borders concept became the benchmark for other bookstores to follow, and the profits have shown. They have cleared over $10 billion in sales, and they are still a growing company.

Being concious seems to be fine for everyone else except them though. Borders, Inc. has done everything possible to squash unions, considered a basic liberal principle, in their stores. They have had several NLRB complaints levied against them, and several boycotts ensued. While the unionizing employees have had triumphs, they are losing the battle to win over Borders' executives.

When social activist Michael Moore, director of "Roger and Me" and "The Big One", went on a book tour, he found out about the employees plight for unionization. When he tried to promote an out in the open discussion about unions with Borders, he was told to move out. All of this, despite having the number one selling book at Borders for the previous two weeks.

Borders, Inc. has even released a guideline, confimred by Borders as being from V.P. of Human Resources Anne Kubek, on how to deal with unionizing employees. It encourages mangers to deal with unions early. It includes headings like, "what can be done to avoid unionization in my store?" and "recognizing the early signs of union activity". This guideline also states that unions are nothing more than companies looking for more membership dues. The guideline states that unions are targeting their workers solely for money and have targeted Borders because of recent growth. It also describes Borders' employees from failed union efforts as disgruntled employees that only want to shake things up by implanting ideas into other store's employees heads.

Borders, Inc. has come a long way from their liberal, social do-gooder days. Now, they even are straying from their "good employees" mentality. Borders, Inc. has just become one of the mega-companies that have shown us time and again why unions are needed.

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