Colectivo Coffee Reaffirms Objections to 2021 Union Vote


Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee has continued its legal challenge of last year’s historic employee unionization vote.

Meanwhile, the union seeking to represent Colectivo workers has called the latest legal filing an “obstructive tactic” designed to thwart the will of Colectivo workers.

In a filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday, Colectivo is requesting a review of a board representative’s previous denial of the coffee company’s objections to the vote’s validity.

The vote itself originally took place last April, resulting in a 99-99 tie with a number of ballots contested. In August, the NLRB announced that, after a review, the official vote count was 106-99 in favor of unionization. Should negotiated contracts be ratified, Colectivo would become the largest unionized coffee chain in the country.

Colectivo, formerly known as Alterra Coffee Roasters before it sold the brand to Mars Inc., operates 16 cafes in the Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago markets, with more than 400 employees.

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In its latest filing, the company’s lawyers argue that an NLRB regional director should not have overruled Colectivo’s past objections last December. 

Colectivo continues to contend that the ballot of a Chicago employee was mishandled, and that the union representative IBEW Local 494 engaged in unlawful ballot solicitation. 

In a statement yesterday, IBEW Local 494 Business Manager Dean Warsh described Colectivo’s latest challenge as “just another delay and obstructive tactic to slow down and stop the will of their workers to form a union.”

“We at IBEW Local 494 continue to call on the ownership and management to stop stalling and join us and the workers at the bargaining table to negotiate a fair and equitable contract,” Warsh wrote.

Source: Daily Coffee News

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