The management of Spyhouse Coffee Roasters has told unified employees that they can buy its five Twin Cities cafes. Plan for the days Coffee Reindeer and Beer Top T-shirt
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Spyhouse Coffee, in a statement to the Plan for the days Coffee Reindeer and Beer Top T-shirt media, said that in response to workers who petitioned for union, they provided this “interesting opportunity” to workers.
“Spyhouse has heard these requests and has decided to give Unite 17 and its employees the opportunity to buy five cafes and run them as union owned and -run ones,” announced from Spyhouse, which is owned by Christian Johnson.
Sheigh Freeberg, secretary and treasurer of Unite Here Local 17, said it could turn the coffee chain into a worker cooperative.
However, Spyhouse did not speak to workers or Unite, which helped motivate workers in their unions. Instead, business went straight to news agencies with this claim, Freeberg said.
The move reflects a lack of transparency and respect for workers they have been fighting against, he said in an email.
“This is like an attempt to distract from the Plan for the days Coffee Reindeer and Beer Top T-shirt real problems workers want to solve,” Freeberg said. “Instead of teaming up with his workers to listen to their concerns, this employer chose to tell the people for whom he primarily pays the minimum wage that if they want a voice in the business, they can buy it. ”
In August, worker groups across Spyhouse sites asked Johnson and the chain’s management to voluntarily recognize their unions. Workers said one of their main concerns concerns inadequate safety protection when working in the coronavirus pandemic, including what they say is the lack of adequate sanitation supplies and lack of enforcement on social distancing.
Workers said they wanted Spyhouse management to also address racial equality and foster a respectful work environment where workers have a say.
Local 17 said, nearly 90% of qualified workers signed a union authorization form. Workers also organize demonstrations outside of the cafes.
Local 17 has come to the fore in recent weeks by working with employees in union efforts at Tattersall Distilling, Fair State Brewing and Surly Brewing Co.
At Spyhouse, Freeberg said Local 17 will continue to push to get a vote for the union.