Workers at the chain coffee shop Blank Street Coffee have had a decisive win. The company is owned by a private equity-backed company, not generally a good situation for those seeking to improve their conditions. However, the workers began organizing with Local 1500 of the UFCW in 2022, and over two dozen had voted to unionize.  Now, they have ratified a first collective bargaining agreement. They won annual 50-cent raises, paid time off and a grievance procedure. Their wages are now a guaranteed $23/hr. Some union members speculate that a motivation for the wins are the positive public image that Blank Street Coffee wants to maintain. Other companies such as Starbucks and REI were previously seen as good actors, but that has diminished as people have become aware of their union-busting actions.


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