Photo by Clay Banks
[B]ack in early July, SPoT Coffee in Buffalo, New York, came under scrutiny after two former employees and a manager alleged that they were fired from the chain as part of union-busting efforts by ownership. Workers organized multiple protests of the chain in response. Now, roughly a month later, employees are one step closer to unionizing. A majority of employees at four SPoT Coffee locations (Hertel Ave., Delaware Ave., Elmwood Ave., and Williamsville) signed union cards and petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to conduct an election. Workers will then decide on whether or not to unionize.
The NLRB has yet to announce the time and date of the vote. If a majority of workers vote “yes,” the union will be certified by the federal government, allowing negotiations regarding wages, benefits, polities, and other issues between baristas and SPoT Coffee to commence. SPoT Coffee is still under investigation by the NLRB for possible wrongful termination and union busting for the three fired employees.
“SPoT is currently reviewing the election petition,” SPoT president and CEO Anton Ayoub told The Buffalo News. “We continue to recognize and support our employees’ right to decide whether they wish to be union represented.”