PITTSBURGH (February 22, 2022) – UFCW Local 1776 President Wendell Young IV announced today that the workers at The Coffee Tree Roasters have voted by an overwhelming majority to join Local 1776.
“This is a great win for these workers and their families and now they are part of our family of 35,000 workers,” Young said. “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.”
The company’s workers said that they look forward to negotiating for better pay and improved working conditions.
"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), of 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."
Helene Tracey (she/her), of Shadyside, added, "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. We are ready to collaborate with Coffee Tree to create a coffee shop that works for us and our community."
The final vote was 17-3 in favor of unionizing. An additional nine ballots were challenged by the employer. Young said that the vote still must be certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a process that can take 7-10 days. Young thanked Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, and the members of the state Senate and state House Democratic delegations from Allegheny county for their strong support throughout the organizing campaign.
“The entire community rallied around these workers. Pittsburgh has always been a union town,” Young said. “And as I like to remind people, nothing goes better with a cup of coffee than a union.”