The wave of unionizing efforts in Chicago’s specialty coffee scene continues to build momentum. Mimicking the nationwide push for collective bargaining for workers at the modern cafe and roastery, the Second City has seen some of the bigger names in the coffee scene applying for—and successfully forming in some cases—unions, including stalwarts Intelligentsia and Colectivo (to say nothing of the Starbucks Workers United efforts in the city). And now, La Colombe is joining the list of specialty coffee companies in Chicago to see union representation.
The announcement comes less than a month after two Washington, DC La Colombe locations—Farragut and Chinatown—made public their intent to unionize, seeking to join the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400. In a statement released on Monday via the La Colombe Workers Union Twitter account, the Gold Coast and West Loop La Colombe locations in Chicago have filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a union election. Per the statement, a “super majority of baristas” at the two locations “have signed cards authorizing UFCW Local 881 to represent [them] for the purpose of collective bargaining.”
Our campaign joins a resurgent wave of workers across our industry, and the country, who are coming together to advocate for themselves and exercise their collective power. We look forward to uniting with our coworkers nationwide, and the larger labor movement, in fighting for workers rights in all industries.
The next step for both the Chicago and DC cafes seeking to collectively bargain is a vote by the workers, with the Chinatown location first up with a vote scheduled for December 23rd.