Five Blue Bottle Coffee locations in Greater Boston Unionize

Boston coffeeshop employees at five Blue Bottle locations have announced their intention to unionize, with around 50 workers sending letters to upper management requesting voluntary recognition for the Blue Bottle Independent Union. The independent union is unaffiliated with a larger organization and is independent from the company. The union is forming due to Blue Bottle’s inability to pay workers enough, lack of input into cafe operations, and continuous disdain for them as workers. The workers are fighting for a living wage, democratic control of the workplace, and comprehensive protection from harassment.

Blue Bottle has been owned by Nestlé since 2017, operating over 70 locations nationwide. Workers claim that the treatment of staff does not align with the company’s public ethos, which focuses on providing high-quality specialty coffee and paying fair trade premiums. They have witnessed high turnover among managers, lack of adequate training, and an air of apathy from supervisors about water leaks and other issues with physical facilities.

The Blue Bottle effort is part of a wave of organizing that has swept Boston-area coffee shops since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Starbucks union has inspired employees at several local chains to demand more ownership. Blue Bottle workers began their underground union effort in 2022 but only went public this week. They now claim to be the only local baristas who chose to take on the majority of organizing responsibilities by unionizing independently, rather than joining forces with an established union.

Read More @ Boston Globe

Suggested Reading