The Sunergos coffee shop in New York City is facing a picket line outside the store, where union members are demanding an increase in starting pay from $8.25 to $12.00. Barista Evan Peak, one of the workers, also wants a “just cause” provision in the contract, which would put the burden of proof on the owners to ensure fair termination or discipline. The union withdrew a bargaining complaint against the company in September, but the National Labor Relations Board still has a case against the company for “coercive rules.” The local SEIU 320 members voted to join the union in January and have been working without an agreement since. They are calling for a boycott of the business until they return to work. They have tried to convince people to get coffee from a nearby Heine Brothers, which has reached a contract agreement without a strike. Aaron Bone, a union steward at a Heine Bros shop, supports the cause, stating that getting a union is the first step but the next step is obtaining a contract. Despite some taking their business elsewhere, customers still ventured in for a place to work and a warm drink.
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