We are Unionizing La Colombe!
We are the La Colombe Union, a group of baristas who are unionizing to improve our working conditions, together, in a way that lasts. We’re proud of what we do and love making coffee and creating an atmosphere that our customers love. This work deserves respect, and we know that the best way to get that is with a union.
We want a voice at this company – one with real power. Having a union means having a say in the issues that affect us at La Colombe. We deserve a union contract that guarantees regular schedules and hours, better wages with consistent raises, adequate staffing, clear discipline policies, and grievance procedures. One good job should be enough to provide for ourselves and our families.
We’ve already won four union elections at the Chinatown café in Washington, DC, plus the Andersonville, Armitage, West Loop, and Gold Coast cafés in Chicago, IL. Baristas at coffee shops across the country are coming together to advocate for more at La Colombe, and you can join them! Schedule a call with an organizer to learn how.
What we’re fighting for
Regular Schedules and Hours
We need schedules we can depend on and enough hours to meet our needs. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not we’ll have enough hours to keep our paychecks consistent. Our work should work for us and our lives.
Better Wages with Consistent Raises
Our work is valuable and important, and we deserve to be compensated fairly for it. We need guaranteed yearly raises that keep up with the cost of living and set pay scales that match our experience, not low pay caps that leave us with no room to grow.
We love serving our customers and providing them with the coffee and atmosphere that keeps them coming back. We need enough staff to make sure we can do so efficiently and effectively. We shouldn’t have to feel stretched thin without enough time or people to keep our cafes running.
Clear Discipline Policies and Grievance Procedures
With a union contract, we would have protections and grievance procedures set in place so we can’t be unfairly disciplined or fired. We need a “just cause” progressive discipline system, not opaque criteria.
“It’s good knowing that we all have each other’s backs and best intentions in mind. We come together to decide what is best for us instead of having someone tell us what we have is good enough.– Theresa, La Colombe West Loop | Chicago, IL
It could always be better.
“To me, a union means that my coworkers and I will be on a more equal footing with the corporate leadership of La Colombe, allowing us to negotiate for wages which will better support all of us, especially those of us raising children or paying off debt.– Mya, La Colombe Chinatown | Washington, D.C.
I think our union can make this job into a good job period, not just good by the low standards of the service industry.”
– Daniel, La Colombe West Loop | Chicago, IL
“I want to be a part of a union so that my coworkers and I can have a say in our workplace. Even with the most well meaning and generous employers, I would always prefer working somewhere where conditions were negotiated by workers instead of decided for us!”
– Jules, La Colombe Chinatown | Washington, D.C.
“The union we have built has been an expression of the uniting goals and values that my coworkers and I share. We may have different needs and situations but we can all agree on the core issues that are shared by all La Colombe workers and fight for our voice to be heard!”