There’s a Union Push at Another Peet’s Coffee

A union drive is underway at a Peet’s Coffee location in Berkeley, California. Workers at the store filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, believing that starting a union shop would allow them to fight for better control over hours, higher wages, longer breaks, better training, and worker power. If successful, the 17 workers would join three other Peet’s locations in Berkeley and Oakland in unionizing with the Industrial Workers of the World IU 640. In 2023, workers at the Southside Berkeley, Temescal, and Piedmont locations each voted to unionize. Peet’s Coffee spokesperson Mary O’Connell said the company plans to respect the NLRB process and follow the process consistent with federal labor laws.

The union drive in Berkeley is part of a nationwide labor movement in the coffeehouse sector. Starbucks coffee shops around the country, including multiple in Berkeley and Oakland, have recently formed unions. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Starbucks over the NLRB in a case that makes it more difficult for the labor board to win court orders halting labor practices contested as “unfair.”

Peet’s Coffee has 287 locations across the U.S., with most in California. Workers alleged that as Peet’s has grown from a small-batch specialty roaster to a large corporation, workers now face understaffing, lack of training, work intensification, and wage stagnation, leading to deteriorating service.

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