Collective bargaining efforts continue to sweep across coffee shops nationwide. What started at a few Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York has grown to hundreds of company-owned locations nationwide—including a recent walk-out at over 100 stores on Red Cup Day—and has influenced many specialty cafes, most recently Philadelphia’s ReAnimator, Elixr, and Ultimo, to follow suit. Now, in California, another big name in the industry is looking to follow suit as two Peet’s Coffee locations are launching their first union campaigns.
Reported by More Perfection Union, two Davis-area Peet’s cafes officially submitted signed union cards to the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, November 28th, making them the first of the 300+ US company locations to do so. The union has been in the works for five months, thanks in part to coordinated efforts with Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union that has previously “provided the muscle and infrastructure for Starbucks Workers United.”
Leaders of the unionizing efforts state they have “near-unanimous buy-in from their co-workers” at the two locations, who cite “low pay and high-stress demands placed on them by the company” as the reasons they seek to collectively bargain. Workers typically begin making minimum wage, per More Perfect Union, with little upward movement and limited chances for career advancement.
“I really love what I do, and I really believe in the Peet’s values, but every year it gets harder to do this job, it gets busier and busier and everything gets more and more expensive,” Alyx Land, an organizer at the North Davis location, tells More Perfect Union. “At my last review, I got the highest mark you can get and that raise was 50 cents. With inflation, that’s less money than I made last year. It radicalized me.”
After filing, the stores will need an official vote in favor of unionizing before moving forward.
This story is developing…
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.