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Coffee Baristas in Pennsylvania Join Local 1776

March 3, 2022

On Feb. 22, workers at five Coffee Tree Roasters shops in Pittsburgh joined UFCW Local 1776 for a better life. The 54 workers joined our union family because they wanted to strengthen their wages and improve working conditions.  

The five shops are located in Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Pleasant Hills, Fox Chapel and Mt. Lebanon. Nine of the ballots were challenged by the employer, and the vote is in the process of being certified by the NLRB.

“As an employee that has been with Coffee Tree Roasters for two and a half years, it feels amazing to be a part of this and to get the win for our union,” said Riley Davis (they/she), who works at the shop in Mt. Lebanon. “I have seen so many of my previous coworkers leave for better wages and change, and to see that now we have a voice to improve our workplace makes me excited to make it great for the coworkers I have now. We have an amazing team and customers, and I can’t wait to start negotiations for better pay and working conditions.”

“Our hard work since August has helped us win our election, and I hope this inspires other baristas to fight for better in their own workplaces,” added Helene Tracey (she/her), who works at the ship in Shadyside. “We are ready to collaborate with Coffee Tree to create a coffee shop that works for us and our community.”

“This is a great win for these workers and their families and now they are part of our family of 35,000 workers,” said UFCW Local 1776 President Wendell Young IV. “They stood tall and have remained firm in their commitment to join our union throughout what was a grueling process. I am very proud of our newest members, and we look forward to the next step, which is to negotiate a strong contract with fair wages and workplace protections, including the right to free speech without any fear of being fired or other retribution.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey; Lt. Gov. John Fetterman; and the members of the state Senate and House Democratic delegations from Allegheny County supported the workers throughout the organizing campaign.

“The entire community rallied around these workers,” Young said. “Pittsburgh has always been a union town. And as I like to remind people, nothing goes better with a cup of coffee than a union.”

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