TLDR : heaps progressive bookshop ‘Better Read Than Dead’ in Newtown, Sydney is currently trying to stop workers from joining a union and obtaining minimal wages and conditions, viz:
… their first ever enterprise agreement to secure the most basic provisions:
• safety policies covering bullying, workplace harassment and discrimination;
• job security rights including conversion from casual to part time employment and protections in the case of redundancies; and
• a living wage of $25 per hour.
Workers are calling on Better Read Than Dead to treat them with respect and come to the table with a fair offer, and to end the union busting.
All of which seems fairly reasonable eh.
But while for over two decades Better Read Than Dead bookshop has thrived in the heart of Newtown’s King Street, which houses a vibrant community and offers one of the most eclectic shopping experiences in Sydney, and the business modestly describes itself as a literary landmark that nourishes the neighbourhood’s intellectual dynamics with a specially curated collection of books and regular author and community events, it seems that commerce triumphs over ‘community’ in this instance, and their staff’s collective decades of bookselling experience, diverse tastes and deep love of reading counts for nought.
In any case, you can support BRTD workers by donating to Welfare Support Fund for RAFFWU Members at Better Read Than Dead, sending messages of solidarity and support to RAFFWU and, if you scribble for a living, read and sign the petition Our words are in their hands: authors for Better Read Than Dead workers.