Angry Ex-Workers Disrupt the Opening of The Strand; ‘Whose Strand? Our Strand!”

11 am, opening day.

By Carol Tannenhauser and Kate Koza

The much-anticipated opening today of The Strand, an outpost of the legendary downtown bookstore, was disrupted by protestors marching in a circle in front of the new store, at 450 Columbus Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets.

“We get sick, they get rich!” they chanted. “Whose Strand? Our Strand!”

”We’re the ones who make this store what it is,” said a young masked protester named Matthew. “We’re the ones with the passion for books.”

“I don’t have health care,” Matthew shouted over the din and through his mask.

Protesters explained their frustrations to a group of onlookers, citing dissatisfaction with the work environment and levels of compensation, as well as more pointed criticisms of the store’s decision to lay off workers during NYC’s COVID-19 lockdown while applying for and receiving over one million dollars in Paycheck Protection loan support.

While some laid-off workers were rehired upon the store’s gradual resumption of operations — and Wyden has previously stated that her goal is to rehire all 188 laid-off staff members — protesters claimed the rehirings weren’t extensive enough and didn’t address other concerns, including Wyden’s ownership of $115,000 in Amazon stock, which she has described previously as an income-generating endeavor to put money back into her own stores. It was also announced earlier this week that 12 employees who were recently rehired would once again be laid off due to what Wyden acknowledged had been overly optimistic hopes for foot traffic upon reopening.

The chanting was loud and coordinated.

Some onlookers seemed hesitant to physically cross through the group of protesters and enter the store; others entered, seemingly eager to explore the reopened space and support a local, independent business in what has long been a proudly book-loving neighborhood.

“I was thrilled to be the very first customer, and I’m happy and proud,” said a local woman. “But don’t use my name until I hear the details of the protest,” she added.

Wyden stood at the front of the store, positioned to greet customers and openly engage in conversation about books and the protests outside.

Nancy Bass Wyden and customer.

“When we opened up, we weren’t able to hire back everyone,” she said. “It was economics. I was thrilled to be able to open at all with a bare minimum staff, after 93 years. My father and I had looked for locations. He died two years ago.”

“My mother just died a month ago. She was older and the isolation didn’t help.” Wyden turned to greet a customer.

“Do you buy used books here?” he asked.

“Not yet, but we will,” Wyden responded.

It was hard to hear her over the chanting.

NEWS | 82 comments | permalink
    1. Whiners says:

      Oh, get over it. Is your goal to get your job back or is it just to make a stink? Because blocking the store and keeping a neighborhood that wants to support you from feeling safe when they shop is not the way you get your job back. Call it evil capitalism if you want, but it’s also common sense: It takes customers to stay open.

      If you really want your job back, quit intimidating customers on the street because it’s easy enough already to buy from Amazon online. Don’t bully the very few people who are actually able and willing to go out in the middle of a global pandemic to support an independent, brick and mortar bookstore. If getting your job back truly is your goal, you need them.

      • Shh, The Grownups are Talking says:

        Read more closely! This isn’t just about a job. The owners makes millions, got millions in loans, and purchased Amazon stock. How can she have all this an not be able to employee people?

        • Th2e says:

          Shh, The Grownups are Talking, the stock purchase was to save the store for the future. Otherwise how is she supposed to keep her father (and grandfather’s) legacy? Perhaps you’re one of the picketers?

        • nemo paradise says:

          Oh, absolutely! Of course the Strand’s employees have the right to demand a voice in the owner’s stock portfolio choices. And if they have money, why, they just have to pay it to former employees — it only makes sense.

          How dare the owner behave as though she were somehow entitled to run things? Well, that’s capitalism for you. You could never get away with this in Seattle.

        • The Truth says:

          Gimme a break. She just lost her father and another family member, we are in the middle of a pandemic, bookstores are becoming distinct & people are picketing her? Let them start their own bookstores & see how easy it is to run it in this pandemic. Get off sidewalk, get to work & let the store survive.

      • Agreez says:

        Fully agreed Whiners. There are many other productive ways of getting your job back (including looking around at other bookshops for work). There’s a market for bookstore workers who passed the ‘Strand Test’.

      • A few truths says:

        The point is less that there are jobs elsewhere but that there are none now at the strand, and stamping feet, shouting, and attention seeking behavior will not magically alter the harsh realities of a P&L sheet. Aside from that do the protesters think, if more jobs open, that such behavior is likely to induce a business owner to hire them? Would you hire people who have verbally berated you, attempted to derail your business, and denigrated your character?

        • Lady Di says:

          finally, a comment that is objective and “grown up”. The harsh reality, privileged people, is that our economy is in the toilet, many businesses will close for good, and the layoffs will continue (including many of my friends). Rather than picking apart a business owners’ assets, why not help keep the business alive (and hopefully eventually hire more people) by putting down the signs and encouraging people to buy a book from the Strand rather than on Amazon.

        • Enuff Awreddy says:

          Re: “stamping feet, shouting, and attention seeking behavior will not magically alter the harsh realities of a P&L sheet.”

          Exactly! And yelling “Whose Strand? Our Strand!” reveals the childish mind-set of these protestors, because…it is NOT their Strand! They were just employees, who:
          1. never had to endure all of the frustrations of dealing with bureaucracies to open a business in NYC;
          2. never had to endure all the aggravation of finding financing to start and sustain such a risky business as a bookstore;
          3. Do NOT have the right to question Ms. Wyden’s legal purchase of Amazon stock.

    2. Not Furloughed says:

      A point of clarification on this article: the former Strand staff is not furloughed. That terms is used twice and is inaccurate. To be furloughed means that one is, still, technically an employee, possibly even receiving some benefits from the job. The former Strand staff has, instead, been laid off since the end of March.

      • Retired Labor Lawyer says:

        Since Strand is a union shop, “lay-off” comes with continued recall rights under the collective bargaining agreement.
        There’s no distinction between lay-off and furlough in a unionized environment.

    3. Valarie says:

      I’m so glad that I don’t work at the Strand anymore. A toxic environment. I’d rather shop on Amazon.

    4. Woody says:

      I’m confused by the part about the Amazon stock. Did Wyden already own this stock or did she use proceeds from the PPL to purchase the stock?

      If she previously owned Amazon then it’s none of the protesters’ business (and I’m not sure how they know about it in any case).

      If she used PPL proceeds to purchase the stock this is probably illegal.

      • Kate Koza says:

        Hi Woody, the stock purchase was a personal, pre-existing purchase that was in no way connected to the PPP. No PPP money was used to buy the stock; that would indeed be in violation of the parameters of forgivability of a PPP loan.

        • Charly says:

          Kate,

          According to Barrons,she purchased Amazon stock in April, May and June. Where did you get your “facts”?

          https://www.barrons.com/articles/strand-bookstore-owner-nancy-bass-wyden-amazon-stock-51594068338

          “Bass Wyden had purchased at least $115,000 worth of Amazon stock in April and May, in addition to other investments.”

          “In addition to buying more Amazon stock in June, Bass Wyden also increased holdings in Facebook (FB), PayPal Holdings (PYPL), Walt Disney (DIS), and chip maker Nvidia (NVDA), among other transactions.”

        • Re: Kate says:

          This is incorrect. The Amazon shares were purchased during the pandemic, in May and June. This is public record due to the family’s political affiliation. The workers are asking for transparency of where the loan money has gone, if not to support the workers

          • Isaac says:

            I don’t see why her personal investments are relevant here, especially give that the quoted amount pales in comparison to how much she has at stake in the Strand.

    5. Former Manager says:

      Nancy purchased the stocks shorty after receiving the paycheck protection money , the amount paid for the stocks is very close to the amount received in P.P money , it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that she used the P.P money to purchase stocks . She is obligated to hire back as many union workers as possible , as per Strand contract with the UWA . Nancy is also the owner of the building where Strand is , in addition to other real estate holdings . she is a vampire who is trying to suck as much money out of her store as possible , not to mention that her husband is a U.S Senator who voted in favor or the Paycheck Protection Sact

      • Peter says:

        Genuinely curious – how do people know what stocks she was purchasing and when? Typically something only family and/or financial advisor would be privy to.

        Was she talking about it?

        • Julie Livingston says:

          Her husband is a US Senator, so his and his wife’s stock trades should be a matter of public record.

    6. joe_the_accountant says:

      Basic economics – best way to get your job back is to try to bankrupt your employer. Those protesters must be a bunch of geniuses.

      I’m pretty sure that most businesses are hiring back slowly and carefully to gauge the amount of returning business. Doing otherwise would be suicide.

      • Eric Theirees says:

        I was in the area when this was happening so I stopped by the check in out. In the brief time I was standing there, I saw a picketer stop to help open the door to the bookstore for a woman with a baby stroller and child. In talking to one of them, he told me that their goal isn’t to stop anyone from shopping there but to inform them of the conditions and poor business practice of the owner.

    7. IDGI says:

      I don’t understand. Do you want to the company to thrive and survive or not? Would you rather she do nothing and let it die so that NO ONE gets their job back? I am not a Nancy fan but I won’t fault her for doing what she feels is best to make her business stay afloat during this mess.

      I know protesting is the ‘thing’ these days, but this is a pointless one. Nobody on either side wins this one.

      • COVID hair says:

        She laid people off literally two weeks after rehiring them, somewhat acknowledging that she rushed into a full reopening. And then a week later is literally expanding her business. Her leadership is erratic and nonsensical. A couple dozen people outside aren’t going to drive Strand out of business, Nancy is doing it all herself.

        • IDGI says:

          The UWS store was supposed to open the very week the word went to hell and the (very long) lease has already been signed, so that entire point is moot. It was always going to happen regardless of how many people were hired/rehired/relaid off. My point is, she’s trying to do what needs to be done to KEEP it afloat and they are upset at her for doing those very things. It doesn’t make any sense. Nothing about this protest will help them get their jobs back quicker. So maybe she posts all of her financial records, what then? Do they expect pay raises? A nicer work environment? Nothing will come out of any of this other than what’s already happened, bad press. That helps NO ONE.

    8. Bob Lamm says:

      As a writer, a college literature instructor, and a reader, I have three strong reasons to support every independent bookstore. Especially one three blocks from me. But not when laid-off employees are picketing. In solidarity with the protesters–from a proud member of the National Writers Union.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        good for you, Bob Lamm. It seems like some of the commenters above don’t approve of union protest tactics. What the workers are doing is trade Unionism 101.

        it makes me scratch my head: when did West Siders become so unaware?

      • protesters = selfish says:

        Why sympathize with the protesters? I love books – my apt is wall papered In bookcases. But I also love common sense. If the store goes down bec top heavy with excess costs, no employees benefit. The protestors in sum are selfish. If they can’t get a job at strand, they don’t want anyone to have one. Why on earth do they get sympathy and praise?

        • davidaron60 says:

          Maybe because the protesters are fighting for economic justice? Which in the end benefits everyone.

        • protesting is NOT selfish says:

          Why should workers not insist on better working conditions?

          • Jay says:

            Sure. They can ask for changes, but those changes may not always make sense to the business.

            If the employees don’t like the way their employer provides employment, they are free to do what everyone else does and find a new job that provides them with the environment they wish.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              by “make sense to the business”, Jay apparently means “providing as much profit to the owner(s) as possible.”

              To workers, “make sense to the business” means providing the best package of pay, benefits, and working conditions.

              the workers and union are applying pressure to get more fair and equitable treatment. As someone noted above, in general that is good for society.

            • Jay says:

              Welcome to the world, Bruce.

              Yes. You don’t get to control what people do with their businesses and money. The employees are not indentured servants. They can apply to work wherever they please.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              reply to Jay:

              I don’t know which section of the economy you are familiar with, but business owners, even of privately held companies, don’t get to do whatever they want with their businesses. They have to comply with OSHA, environmental law, labor law, tax law, and many other regulations. In this case there is a union contract, and Wyden has to comply with that. Further, the PPP program has tight regulations, and the union is correct in insisting that she follow them.

              Further, the union and employees have every right to inform the public of these issues, and I am glad they did so.

              Your final sentence, which boils down to “if you don’t like it here, you can always leave” is the oldest refrain of the bosses, and has been used for 100 years or more to silence workers from defending their rights.

            • Jay says:

              Dear Bruce,

              As I said, YOU don’t get to decide how a business is run. Your comments suggest you and the employees should get a say on how people spend their personal money. Is that how you truly feel?

              There is zero evidence that the Strand ownership broke the law.

              We live in a free market economy. I’m sorry you disagree with the facts.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              reply to Jay:

              this is a little confusing. Are you complaining about the union and employees/former employees holding the picket, or are you complaining about my supporting them? Or both? In either case, i don’t see what the complaint is.

              We DON’T live in a totally free market economy. We live in an economy where workers have rights and protections, and hopefully, if we can get rid of Trump, those rights and protections will be extended.

            • Jay says:

              “We live in an economy where workers have rights and protections”

              And none of these employees have any evidence that these right and protections have been violated.

              So, you and these employees are complaining about what?

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              reply to Jay:

              please read the WSR article over again. there are many valid issues raised by the workers.

              if you want to know more, here is an article with more details from the union. Wyden laid off the 12 workers again 1 day after rehiring them.

              https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/83846-strand-union-denounces-new-layoffs.html

              In any case, the workers are not bound to your standards of evidence. if they feel they are mistreated, they have every right to raise their voices. Obviously that is their feeling.

            • Jay says:

              Dear Bruce,

              I have read a number of articles on this issue. None of them mention anything done illegally by the Strand owners. When you don’t have facts, you make them up. So, I guess that’s what’s happening here with some of these employees.

              Perhaps you are unaware of how rehiring is done in a union environment, but it is all prescribed by their contract. If there has been a violation of that contract, then they should file a grievance. To date, I have seen no evidence that they have.

              Again, what does any of that have to do with the store they are opening on the UWS which has nothing to do with the store in the East Village?

              I’ll answer that for you: nothing.

    9. Linda says:

      I’ll never darken the Strand’s doorsteps; this isn’t the only bookstore on the UWS. Please remember that you can donate your used books to Housing Works and do some good in the process.

    10. Sue says:

      Bookstore jobs??? Where??? Several friends still furloughed since March from bookstore jobs. I’m sure they’d be interested.

    11. Confused says:

      Honest questions — is it not better to get $600 a month for being laid off than to get furloughed without pay? If a business owner takes a PP loan and doesn’t rehire workers, don’t they need to repay it anyways? Also, I don’t fully get the animosity against the personal amazon stock — do any of those workers shop at amazon or have 401Ks (with likely their own dollars in amazon stock)? Do they expect us not to shop at amazon if one of the few open bookstores in the neighborhood is to be protested against?

      • Re: Confused says:

        Fun fact, as an ex-employee with friends still at the store, until last year Strand offered employees no options to save for potential retirement. Last year, the union worked to get the option of opening a 401k, which Strand contributes nothing to.
        Employees make minimum wage and often have a hard enough time paying rent in a neighborhood an hour plus commute away from the store. They hardly have money to put into that 401k option. Further more, employees who have been loyal to the store for literal decades are given no benefits that allow them to retire comfortably.

        The purpose of this picket was to raise awareness of these and many ways that NBW takes her workers for granted, when she wouldn’t be able to do it without them. She cares nothing for the book industry, she was simply born into wealth created by workers who love it.

    12. Chris says:

      indie bookstores have a tough enough time without protests. And keeping customers away will only make it more unlikely they will need more staff. Makes no sense. Was the $600 + what an extra $300 not good enough? Because furloughed would prob have been less than that. I don’t really need anything right now but I’ll goin just to buy something and support them.

    13. Julie says:

      I am a small business owner and received less than 40K in a PPP loan, and was happy to get it. I hired back all my employees even though business isn’t anywhere near back to normal.
      This pattern of unfair treatment of Stand staff members has been going on for at least ten years, based on discussions I’ve had with two long time employees. Nancy can and should do better by her workers. I stand with the protesters.

      • Alan says:

        I believe a requirement of the PPP program was that you needed to continue the employment of your workers? That was the point. Reduced hours would be OK but accepting the funding meant no layoffs? So it would appear the strikers have a real grievance?

        • lil h says:

          Alan- I know some businesses laid off their people so they could get unemployment. The workers preferred that because it was more cash in their pockets.

        • young_man! says:

          PPP money is supposed to be spent on employee wages, rent and utilities.

          No sympathy for the protesters who seem to want to drive the store out of business because it made no sense to immediately rehire everybody.

    14. robert says:

      Ok here goes full disclosure I’m a regular starnd shopper even back when they had a store on Fulton street till the early 2000’s
      I have even dated a couple of the staff there.
      Ok now are you guys nuts? March all you want but it doesn’t actually change the facts. Its a simple matter of economics, no sales no income no store, The 12th street store has been on a narrow margin for years. PPP money has to be accounted for to the penny to the IRS. I really would like to know where and how people came to have this info, do tell pls not they file separate finical so do tell.
      Even if she did buy stock with, wait for it….HER OWN $$$$ so???
      Yes it would be great to hire everybody back asap but that will not happen till we stock being Winnies and get out there and shop The store on 12th street is still much cheaper than Amazon and no worries about porch pirates?

    15. 92nd Street says:

      I love the Strand and will support both locations if I can.
      To the upset employees, I’d suggest that they apply for loans and start their own Book Stores, while employing a large staff during a City ordered shut down. They sound like children that do not understand business. If the Strand stores can survive this Pandemic, perhaps they can hire back some of the staff.

    16. Andrea says:

      If you think the Strand is such a wonderful place or that Nancy is such a wonderful person, please take a job there.

      I worked there for two years. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I liked my coworkers. The managers were an awful bunch. The atmosphere is toxic. I don’t know anyone that is happy working there.

      The Strand is not union friendly.

      I have no sympathy for the Strand or Nancy.
      By the way, employees don’t have much to say about her that is nice.

      • lynn says:

        Maybe I’m missing the point. If it’s such a miserable existence then why are these protesters trying to get re-hired at The Strand (presumably with the same employer)?

    17. Brenda says:

      I walked by the new store yesterday (either before or after the protest).
      I was curious & excited to have The Strand in the hood. I’m not ready to enter a shop, but in this case I didn’t even want to get close. The clusters of people looking through the outdoor discount racks were inches apart & many not wearing masks correctly. I could see a maskless customer inside as well.
      Placing items outside (presumably to avoid any need to have employee oversight of customer behavior) is just ridiculous right now. How customers are treated is usually an indication how employees are treated as well.

    18. Do your own research. Pay attention. says:

      First of all I’ll admit leaving a comment or misinformed opinion here just stinks of privilege. I hope people who actually care about “indie” bookstores try and read more about the struggles The Strand Union employee has had over the last 10+ years. There are articles online and even a graphic novel out there. There are plenty of articles where the owners speaks to the struggle of keeping the small business humming along in the age of Amazon. Read both and come to your own conclusion. Or better yet get some exercise and go to the flag ship store near Union sq. and see for yourself the mess the staff have been left to try and salvage. If you get inside ask the employees how they feel. You might be surprise by the candor. This article is incomplete and only has the owners point of view filtered by liked minded establishment. Consider asking the owner why the General Manager of 20+ years resigned a week after reopening. Or why the managers that knew best how to operate her store were fired or not asked to return. Interview one of the angry ex-employees that were ”disrupting” the opening of a new store on the UWS while the store further downtown is in shambles. The Strand is owned by Nancy Bass but the experienced staff keep the gears moving. Right now there’s not enough staff to keep the gears moving for much longer at least that’s something evident by those currently running the legacy store. Perhaps the owner should have listen to the advice of the experience management staff that ran the actual business and held off on reopening but that wasn’t the case. They knew more time was needed to open safely and open with a purpose beyond profit. Launching a new store book store is wonderful but ask yourself what are the conditions this staff have to endure? The Strand’s Union representation has been lackluster and their position tends to be lock step with the problematic parts of managements steady and consistent Union-busting tactics. No workplace is perfect! No boss is perfect! The ex-employees and current employees know that’s an impossibility. Support this store, yes! Support the ex-employees, yes! Please support the employees in the stores by asking more questions as soon as possible, absolutely yes! Ask Nancy could this be going better? It’s up to her to support her staff and trust their knowledge and experience.

      • Liz Lime says:

        Word count on these comments? I happen to agree with much of it but if there’s a limit in place to keep things fair, why are some people allowed to post longer diatribes?

    19. chuck d says:

      I worked for half a day at The Strand in 90s. Went to lunch and didn’t come back (it was grueling and hot in the basement, and the work was boring for me). But I remember that it was a union shop at the time. You had to join the union. Is it still?

      Also, I never picked up my last (first) check because I felt guilty about leaving. So, maybe she can use my $20 to buy more stock?

    20. Baxtor says:

      Can’t imagine ever wanting to step foot in this place.

      • Tina says:

        I agree, no way I’m going in there either.
        Definitely in solidarity with the laid off workers.

    21. Hal Weiner says:

      It is truly disgusting that they got all that money to keep employees on the payroll and then furloughed everyone.
      That’s MY tax money they are pocketing. Trump Lives.

    22. Robert Sheridan says:

      The pettiness of this series of comments is disgusting. This should be a moment of joy, not smalltime nitpicking.

      Look at the plentitude of businesses closed, never to re-open on Columbus and the rest of the area.

      New bookstore in the neighborhood, one less vacant decaying storefront (many of which will remain unoccupied for years). Proven management with a nearly century-long record of success when so many others have failed.

      Consider how many NYC jobs Strand has created, sustained over that century. You don’t survive in business in NYC without good management and proven judgment, occasionally hard painful staffing decisions

      Strand, Nancy Wyden, please excuse the smalltime rabble-rousers.

      Welcome to the UWS, thank you for your faith in our neighborhood as your new location. Its a joy to have you here!

      .

    23. Newcavendish says:

      This is ridiculous. Nobody is ever going to get rich off of the Strand, or any other independent bookshop. These people should grow up and seek reemployment with the Strand, when it can afford to reemploy them, as is the stated desire. As for criticizing a very small amount of stock-holding in Amazon, what could be more absurd? Should the owner put on sack cloth and ashes? Vow poverty? The owner’s personal finances are presumably separate from those of the shop. The Strand probably exists only because she has some financial independence. Let’s be realistic. AOC may have driven Amazon out of town. I don’t use Amazon; I prefer to use local shops (such as, now, the Strand). But you can’t spend your time critiquing other people’s investment portfolios if you want to be taken seriously. Owning a little bit of stock of this or that shouldn’t be a moral test. The sanctimoniousness of the Left is going to destroy it.

    24. CityGirl57 says:

      My wise father cautioned never to cross a picket line. I generally err on the workers side until I’ve investigated thoroughly . There is so much animosity here I will not be supporting this business until I know more.
      Sad though

    25. Denaliboy says:

      As someone who spent 20+ years as an editorial director and publisher ,12 years as dean of university libraries and author of 10 books I am pro bookstores.My only concern is that Wyden purchased Amazon stock as an income generator to help with cash flow; unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t pay a dividend–it’s a pure growth stock. The last thing you would buy to generate income. Now, I couldn’t care less what she does with her money; however, timing of purchases/$1-2M in federal payment makes you kinda wonder. Strand is about as mom and pop as Barnes & Noble.

    26. Emma says:

      Astounded and saddened by people’s willingness to cross a picket line. Or the lack of conversation around that.

      • A few truths says:

        Here’s some conversation: why do you automatically assume the picketers are correct (by priding yourself on never crossing a picket line). No side is always correct. By never crossing the line you are effectively enabling a “hecklers veto” by any protester any time. You automatically deny business – here to a book store for goodness sake, an endeavor we could surely get behind – in favor of attention-seeking would-be employees who apparently believe the way to get hired is to humiliate the business owner and run down business (which comments such as yours show is evidently a successful ploy).

    27. RD says:

      Given the disruptions in business due to Covid, employers need to be judicious in staffing or they will go out of business permanently. Also, no owner should have to justify their investment decisions- Amazon stock or other.

    28. Beatrice says:

      I was really looking forward to going to the Strand, once it opened and it was safe to enter.
      Not now, protesters, inappropriate spending of PPP, no social distancing and no masks on customers in the store! Really disappointing, especially now when a new store should be welcomed into the community.

      Staying with Shakespeare on B’way or Amazon…

    29. Lynn says:

      Interesting that the Strand is now in the location formerly occupied by the third Book Culture store on the UWS (The other two are near Columbia). Apparently, the owner of that store didn’t treat his employees very well either, nor did he pay his rent, and he asked the residents of the Columbia neighborhood to lend him money to help his stores survive. I hope there isn’t a curse on the place.

    30. RWC10025 says:

      Why is this allowed people receiving the payroll grants and then firing people after the time frame to use the grant. It’s a scam!

    31. Chrigid says:

      1] are the furloughed workers receiving what they should be receiving from the PPP?

      2] it might help if the protesters handed out fliers explaining their grievances.

      Solidarity Forever.

    32. Jo Baldwin says:

      There was so much to read in the comments that perhaps I missed it, but who is the U.S. senator Nancy Weyden is married to?

    33. Kitty says:

      Why aren’t these full-time or laid off workers getting paid health care insurance? STRAND seems from this to still be their employer.
      Please clarify who’s who. EVERY EMPLOYER in the USA should be taking responsibility for staff health care and to accept that as a moral obligation.

    34. UWSReader says:

      Solidarity! I won’t shop at either location.

    35. Stacey says:

      I’m worked at the Strand a few years ago. It was not a happy experience. The managers do not treat employees well. I’m glad I’m not there anymore. I will not shop there.