- Peet’s United, a group of workers organizing Peet’s Coffee locations in Davis, California, won its first union election at a Covell Boulevard store Friday in a 14-1 vote, the union announced on Twitter.
- In a statement emailed to Restaurant Dive, Peet’s said it had hoped for a different result but would “follow the legally required next steps with the union at North Davis” and would “continue to work for and with our employees companywide.”
- The Peet’s United organizing committee was aided by Starbucks Workers United organizers, union supporters told Restaurant Dive in December. The Service Employees International Union, which is the broader union Workers United is part of, was also part of the Peet’s United National Labor Relations Board filings.
Two Davis, California, Peet’s locations filed for union elections in December, but one withdrew its petition for representation in the lead up to the election, the company said. Petition withdrawals are common when unions feel their shop floor support has eroded or that they need a greater depth of organizing to avoid electoral defeat, though there are other tactical reasons unions withdraw petitions.
Peet’s obliquely conceded the election in its statement. The union’s victory may lead to further election filings. Peet’s workers told Restaurant Dive in December that the conditions which motivated them to organize, including scheduling and safety issues, pay and managerial difficulties, are widespread in the coffee sector. Trinity Salazar, a barista at the North Davis Peet’s location that voted to unionize, worked in several cafes in Davis before ending up at Peet’s.
“I felt unionizing was the next step. Because it seems like a lot of barista jobs are like this,” Salazar told Restaurant Dive in December. “Instead of moving to the next location, it's time to like, actually start changing the culture within the place that I already work.”
Outside of Starbucks’ high-profile union drive, independent cafes and small coffee chains have faced a wave of union organizing in recent years. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers organized Colectivo Coffee in Chicago in 2021, and UNITE HERE has organized several cafes in Boston.