MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s been a little over a week since Spyhouse Coffee workers announced their intent to unionize, and on Saturday, employees say they will be executing a one day unfair labor practice strike.
They will strike at all five locations, starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, to fight for stronger COVID-19 safety measures. Workers say the are facing unclear mask policies, lack of enforced social distancing while ordering, lack of proper cleaning supplies, tables that are not socially distanced, and more. They have previously said they have worked extended hours and have had disagreements over serving customers not wearing masks.
“Working at Spyhouse during COVID has not only been taxing but confusing. We’ve had little communication on safety protocol, how to enforce it, and what happens when there is a positive case,” said Maeve Collins, a barista at the Spyhouse location in Whittier. “We decided to unionize because we felt that being on the frontline has given us a first hand look on what the safety needs are for us and the community.”
Spyhouse employees are represented by Unite Here Local 17, which represents over 6,000 workers in the Twin Cities area.
Spyhouse joins a number of other hospitality workers across the metro which have voted to unionize in the past weeks. Fair State Brewing Cooperative workers banded together on Sept. 9, and Surly Brewing unionized on Sept. 1. Lawless Distilling Company and Stilheart Distillery and Cocktail Lounge Reaction workers have also unionized.
Reaction from management, however, has been mixed. The owners of Lawless Distilling immediately recognized the union, while two days after Surly Brewing employees voted to unionize, the company shut down their Beer Hall. Surly, however, said they had been planning to close the beer hall for weeks before the unionization announcement.
Source: CBS Minnesota