Bookshop Employees Forced to Write Letter to Bosses to Keep Job

Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger revealed new facts about the closing of the Orell Füssli English Bookshop at Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich. They have essentially announced Hunger Games for employees.

Back in August, reported that the Orell Füssli Bookshop in Zürich was closing. As previously reported, the rent contract for the building was bought by fashion brand Zara and after all the books are gone, there will be furniture sold. The Bookshop will be integrated into the German bookshop located at Kramhof, about two minutes’ walk from the current location.

Today, national newspaper Tages-Anzeiger has revealed new details about the closing.

Journalist Benno Gasser has learned from inside sources that Orell Füssli Thalia is looking to let go 15 employees. This has upset pretty much everyone working at the two shops, leading to the manager of Kramhof and her second in command have resigned and are leaving the company. Orell Füssli Thalia currently employs around 80 people, so a personnel cut of 15 people is considered to be a Massenentlassung – a mass cut of personnel. Legally, this has repercussions.

What’s even more deplorable than The Bookshop closing is the way by which they are reported to choose the people who get to stay with the company. Basically, every employee has to write a letter to head offices, explaining their motivation for working there. Essentially, it’s a kind of Hunger Games for employees, where a couple of people living in financial stability are amusing themselves by reading through letters filled with the pleas, hopes and misery of their underlings over whose financial situation and careers they have complete control over.

Even Roland Kreuzer, spokesperson of union Syndicom, calls this «highly unusual».

About Dom

Possessing nigh-encyclopaedic knowledge when it comes to comic books and movies, Dom is one of the co-founders of the Uncanny Book-Club. He also enjoys movies, and going to the cinema.


  1. It’s a shame to see the English book shop go, but as books have been getting squeezed over the last decade by ebooks and the growing obsession most people have been displaying with playing with devices rather than doing real things (like reading a book), one can’t be too surprised. It’s just another form o summing down. I mean, even book club writers can’t seem to stop using the word “awesome” to describe things that just aren’t. As a Zurich resident I just hope the result of Kramming the English shop into the Kramhof won’t be six shelves of books in English and twelve shelves of food from Great Britain!

  2. I was saddened to learn of the English book shop’s closing, but seeing as how ebooks and the ever-growing fascination most people seem to have with playing with devices instead of doing real things (like reading books) it isn’t such a surprise. It is just a spinoff of this great summing down of society. I mean, even book club writers can’s seem to avoid using the word “awesome” to describe things that simply aren’t. I just hope that the Kramming of the English books into the Kramhof won’t result in three shelves of English books by Alain de Bottom and six shelves of food from Great Britain!

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