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Better Buzz Coffee Workers in California Join Local 135

June 4, 2024

On May 17, baristas, trainers, and shift supervisors at Better Buzz Coffee’s Hillcrest location in San Diego voted to join UFCW Local 135 for the better wages and benefits that come with a union contract. This organizing win marks the first Better Buzz Coffee shop to join UFCW Local 135.

This victory marks the culmination of a determined effort by the employees, who organized under the name “Better Buzz United.” The workers cited concerns about wages, benefits, scheduling, and overall workplace safety as primary reasons for seeking union representation.

“I’m extremely grateful to all of my co-workers for showing up and showing out in support of granting workers a voice,” said barista Jackson Ducksworth. “This is another step towards a bright future of worker empowerment!”

“This has been a hard fight, but I’m so proud of our co-workers for showing up for what they believe in,” said barista Katy Waldman. “Life’s better unionized!”

“I’m very excited for this new era of cooperation between management and employees at Better Buzz,” said barista Ben Leighton. “This is going to be a win-win for both groups.”

The election win comes as Better Buzz Coffee continues to expand rapidly across southern California, Arizona, and soon Nevada. Despite this growth, workers have voiced concerns that the benefits of expansion have not been equitably shared.

UFCW Local 135 is dedicated to supporting the workers of Better Buzz Coffee Hillcrest and is actively organizing the other 18 Better Buzz Coffee locations across San Diego County. This victory at the Hillcrest location is only the beginning of a broader movement to improve conditions for all employees within the company.

“Never underestimate the power a group of workers wield when they fight for what they deserve,” said UFCW Local 135 Lead Organizer Andres Pinzon. “This is a win not only for them, but for baristas and workers everywhere. I’m proud of the Hillcrest team for leading the way!”

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