In Buffalo, N.Y., embattled baristas vote for a union

The workers at SPoT Coffee, a Toronto-based coffee shop with locations in Buffalo, N.Y., voted overwhelmingly for union representation on Aug. 20. This came after nearly two months of worker-led protests against SPoT’s decision in late June to fire two union organizers and one store manager who refused to cooperate with management’s shameless union busting. 

SPoT allies and workers, including the fired workers, held a series of increasingly well-attended protests at all SPoT locations throughout July.  They built unbeatable community support and on July 29 organizers officially called for a boycott. 

After the 43-6 vote for a union on Aug. 20, workers at four SPoT locations in Buffalo will be represented by Workers United and will join a short list of baristas around the country with union representation. The organizers have vowed they will not back down from the call to boycott until the fired workers are reinstated. 

— Report by Ryan Lockwood

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