BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A date has been announced for SPoT Coffee’s vote on whether to let employees unionize or not.
Leaders with the AFL-CIO say two employees in Buffalo were released from the company after attempting to organize a union. One of them worked at SPoT’s Hertel Ave. location and the other worked for the Elmwood Ave. cafe.
A manager was additionally fired after refusing to give the names of workers who attended a union meeting.
Following this, protests ensued at different SPoT locations, calling the firings unfair.
One of the fired workers, Phoenix Cerny, says “We still plan on holding the company accountable for their anti-union actions and will continue our fight until they apologize and make the appropriate remedies for what they’ve done to the workers of their company.”
The protesters’ efforts have been paying off, as a majority of SPoT employees at four locations have been signed up on union cards.
They include workers at the SPoT locations on Hertel, Delaware and Elmwood avenues in Buffalo, and the one on Main St. in Williamsville.
Those workers will participate in an election on Tuesday, August 20.
If most of the workers vote yes, the new union would be certified by the federal government. In turn, this would allow employers and the union to negotiate an agreement over wages, benefits and workplace policies.
Not to mention, it would be the first union formed for Buffalo coffee shop workers in more than 25 years.
Jaz Brisack, the lead organizer for Workers United, says “This vote marks an important and necessary milestone in building worker power in an underrepresented industry. Service workers are a critical cornerstone of the economy and workers should not have to choose between dignity on the job and a paycheck that doesn’t even cover the necessities of life.”