Book Workers Announce Day of Solidarity with Amazon Workers

Bookville, USA, March 2021

Book workers from multiple publishers, literary publicity firms, and bookstores announce a Book Workers Day of Solidarity on March 26th with Amazon workers organizing to form a union in Bessemer, Alabama.

Publishing professionals from 7 Stories Press, Archipelago Books, Coffee House Press, Europa Editions, Feminist Press, Haymarket Books, Nectar Literary, The New Press, Two Lines Press, Verso Books and elsewhere as well as booksellers across the country recognize the importance of the right of all workers to collectively bargain over working conditions and support Amazon workers in Bessemer organizing for safer working conditions, the transition from “at will” to “just cause” employment, and fair and accessible grievance procedures. The book workers who have signed this statement stand in solidarity with all book workers—booksellers, publishing professionals, Amazon warehouse workers, librarians, printer employees, UPS and USPS workers delivering book shipments, and authors alike—in the struggle for a more just and sustainable industry for all of us.

“Warehouse workers are the backbone of the book industry. Moreover, as we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, they’re the backbone of the economy as a whole. It is imperative that we support their efforts to unionize and improve their labor conditions. The fact that these brave workers are fighting for their rights against Amazon, the largest multinational corporation in the world (and one that has altered the book industry more than any other force in history), makes it all the more necessary for worker-allies to stand up and make their support known. We support you, and we are ready to fight for you as best we can.”

–Allison Tamarkin Paller, Seven Stories Press

“We in the book industry talk a lot about Amazon as a troublesome but insurmountable inconvenience while decrying its adverse effects on independent publishing and bookselling. But to truly transform our work and our industry in the ways we say we want to, we have to confront Amazon, not just as competition, but as a dangerous monopoly built on the abuse of the workers—and we must oppose dehumanizing and exploitative conditions for book workers everywhere. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with the brave workers in Bessemer, my comrades in publishing, and everyone who senses a better future for the book industry is at our fingertips if we dare to fight for it.”

—Daley Farr, Coffee House Press

“Given our privileged position as a largely white-collar workforce, it’s critical that the publishing industry understands and supports the struggles of warehouse and fulfillment workers who are sometimes less visible but unquestionably enable our survival. As a staffer at a recently unionized small press, where a significant percentage of our revenue still comes from Amazon, I have been watching the fight in Bessemer with excitement and hope, knowing the bravery it takes to confront power and exploitation head-on. We should all stand in solidarity with Amazon workers who are fighting for the basic dignified labor conditions they deserve.”

—Julia Judge, Verso Books

“As booksellers, and more importantly, fellow workers, we believe the fight against Amazon goes far beyond bringing revenue back to indie bookstores to include supporting book workers fighting for better workplace conditions. Taking a stand against Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s exploitative labor practices is about more than winning back book sales—it’s about collective liberation.”

—Mandy Medley and Katharine Solheim, Pilsen Community Books

This group invites book workers across the industry to join in this expression of solidarity. Contact if you’d like to add your name below.

Mandy Medley, Pilsen Community Books and Nectar Literary

Katharine Solheim, Pilsen Community Books

Lisa Swayze, Buffalo Street Books

Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

Gary Lovely, The Book Loft

H Melt, Women and Children First

Danny Caine, Raven Book Store

Molly Walls, FSG

Allison Tamarkin Paller, Seven Stories Press

Alexis Nowicki, FSG

Chad Felix, Two Lines Press

Danny Vazquez, Astra House

Sara Balabanlilar, Deep Vellum

The New Press

Josie Smith, Madison Street Books

Aaron King, Moon Palace Books

Europa Editions
Archipelago Books

Erik Hane, Headwater Literary Management

Katryce Lassle, University of California Press

Jisu Kim, Feminist Press

Lauren Hook, Feminist Press

Rachel Page, Feminist Press

Nick Whitney, Feminist Press

Haymarket Books

Luis Lopez Moon Palace Books

Kaitlynn Cassady, Madison Street Books

Hannah Oliver Depp, Loyalty Bookstores

Dustin Kurtz, Catapult / Counterpoint / Soft Skull

Brad Johnson, East Bay Booksellers

Rachel Molland, Doubleday Books

Marthe Walters, University Press of Florida

Spencer Ruchti, Broadway Books

Camas Books

Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop

Sarah Lopez, Radix Media

Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop

Nicholas Hurd, Radix Media

Alyson Sinclair, Nectar Literary

Sarah Cassavant, SubText Books and Nectar Literary

Kelso McNaught, Gibson’s Bookstore

Julia Judge, Verso Books

Katrina Gonzales, Seven Stories Press

Shayan Saalabi, Seven Stories Press

Eva L. Sotomayor, Seven Stories Press

Lauren Hooker, Seven Stories Press