All OCF Coffee House Locations Close Permanently, a Week After Workers Moved to Unionize

Ori Feibush, a real estate developer, announced the closure of his three OCF Coffee House locations after workers informed him of their intention to unionize. Feibush attributed the closure to lease expirations, reduced sales, and rising costs for the business, which he claimed was never profitable during its 13-year existence. The organization would provide health, vision, and dental benefits for three months, and some employees would receive severance. Workers were compensated with a salary and gratuities of $20 to $25 per hour.

On June 3, 23 OCF employees submitted a letter to Feibush requesting the voluntary recognition of their union. They announced their intention to join Local 80, the barista union representing workers at several Philadelphia cafes, by going public with their organizing campaign on social media. On June 5, they submitted a formal petition to the National Labor Relations Board to request a union vote.

Baristas Alex Simpson and Ava Alabiso, baristas at OCF Fairmount, expressed shock following the closures and felt it felt like retaliation. Alex Riccio, the organizing coordinator of the Philadelphia Joint Board (PJB) of Workers United and a spokesperson for Local 80, stated that OCF workers demonstrated their courage by refusing to submit to a slumlord and bully boss and desired improved working conditions.

PJB Workers United will mobilize labor and community allies to protest the OCF closures, starting outside the Fairmount shop. Feibush claims that OCF Realty and his development company have consistently provided financial support to the stores, but the lease for the store on Fairmount Avenue is set to expire in a few years.

Read More @ The Philadelphia Inquirer

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