Colectivo coffee workers inWisconsin and Illinois recently held a vote on joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 494.
After a year of organizing, a recent vote was taken to certify union representation. The company made every effort to disrupt the effort to unionize by hiring union busters, forcing employees into captive audience meetings, and even firing some of the organizers including five organizing committee members.
Nonetheless, out of the 300 eligible voters 99 voted for the union and 99 voted against with 16 contested ballots. The NLRB will hold a hearing to determine the outcome after deciding to either include or exclude the ballots. A time frame for that hearing has not been decided yet. IBEW 494 Business Manager Dean Warsh was proud of what the workers were able to accomplish, and their efforts will serve as inspiration for future organizing within the hospitality and service industry regardless of the outcome.