The following corrections and clarifications were issued by University Manager of Communications and Public Relations, Lauren Rubenstein, in response to Tuesday’s feature on the hiring practices of R.J. Julia and campus organizing by USLAC (United Student-Labor Action Coalition) in preparation for the opening of the new Wesleyan bookstore on Main St. 

  1. “The employees were originally assured that they would be given jobs at the new bookstore.”

No one at Wesleyan or R.J. Julia ever made such assurances. Our public statement said that all employees would be given the opportunity to interview for positions at the new bookstore, and they were.


  1. “The three who accepted positions were offered either equal or higher salaries while the rest were offered minimum wage or lower than what they currently receive at Broad Street.” ALSO: (From USLAC communications director Alec Shea) “The claim that everyone that has been hired has been hired at the same or a slightly higher salary, that doesn’t address the fact that people who have chosen not to take these jobs were offered significantly lower salaries. They were offered minimum wage salaries, so that seems like a distortion. It’s technically true, but doesn’t cover the whole story.”

While it is correct that there are some positions at R.J. Julia that pay minimum wage, all Broad Street employees who were offered positions at R.J. Julia—including those who turned them down—were offered the same or higher salaries as they earned at Broad Street. No one was offered a lower salary.


  1. “What exactly constituted this [R.J. Julia] experience was unclear, though the employees speculated on its discriminatory and racialized nature through admissions and euphemisms from the interviewer.”

R.J. Julia follows all equal opportunity hiring state and federal laws. The “R.J. Julia Experience” discussed by interviewers relates to the fact that customers can easily buy books online. They choose to go to a store like R.J. Julia because of its helpful and knowledgeable staff of book sellers, who are passionate about reading. 


  1. “After their interviews, employees had to wait months before they knew whether or not they had received the jobs.”

During interviews, R.J. Julia informed applicants of the hiring timeline. Applicants were told they would hear back in late March or early April since the newly hired store manager was starting work in mid-March and needed time to get acclimated.


  1. “Employees of the Broad Street Books, currently managed by Follett, were blindsided, and most found out about the move through the news in The Argus or the Hartford Courant.”

Wesleyan informed Follett of the transition in advance of the public announcement in November. It was Follett’s responsibility to inform its employees at Broad Street Books of the change.

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