We would like to officially welcome our newest organizing committee to the Union – Darwin’s UNITED! The workers of Darwin’s Ltd. in Cambridge, MA have been organizing together to form a new NEJB Local. If successful, Darwin’s UNITED will be the second unionized coffeeshop in Massachusetts after Pavement Coffeehouse organized with us earlier this summer.
Unionization at Darwin’s is part of a larger movement among coffeeshop and other service industry workers. In the case of Darwin’s UNITED, a group of young workers is actualizing the strength of their collective voice in advocating for positive change at their workplace. We applaud them, and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their movement.
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Mobilizing for actions
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We’ve all been through a difficult year. We truly hope that everyone remains safe and healthy into the future.
As a reminder, everyone is eligible to receive their vaccine – you too! COVID-19 vaccines are free with no insurance needed. The process is quick, painless, and brings us closer to returning to normal. Please protect yourself, your family, and your community as soon as you can.
MASSACHUSETTS – Aramark Western New England Dining Services
CONGRATULATIONS! Members at Aramark Western New England University have ratified their new collective bargaining agreement which includes big wins. Members can expect raises over the three-year life of the agreement.
NEW YORK – Richmond Community Services
CONGRATULATIONS! Members at Richmond Community Services have ratified their new collective bargaining agreement which includes a number of big wins:
Consent to shift changes
Starting wage increases
Seniority-based wage increases
Bonuses for mandatory overtime through March, 2022
Bonuses for day-of voluntary overtime through March, 2022
Two retention bonuses through March, 2022
Members from Richmond Community Services have been at the front lines throughout the pandemic. They care for the disability community in New York, which can often be a thankless job. We are all thankful for the work that you do, and we’re glad that this can be reflected in the pay and benefits of this agreement.
Eleanor McCartney, who works as a shift manager at Darwin’s and is a member of the organizing committee, says that the pandemic was a contributing factor in deciding to unionize. “A lot of issues in the industry were exposed, and exacerbated, by the pandemic,” she says. “This work has been made harder, more frustrating, and more exhausting by COVID. We’re looking to stand together and have the ability to go to work and not feel burned out by a single day, or when we have to go to work for five consecutive days.”
Emma Delaney, a union representative for the Darwin’s organizing committee who works with Unite Here, tells Eater that the organizing efforts at Pavement and Starbucks empowered the workers at Darwin’s to join the coffee industry’s labor movement. “These are not random organizing efforts independent of one another. This is a movement. Darwin’s is fighting to become the second independent unionized coffee shop in Massachusetts, and all of us at the New England Joint Board Unite Here are proud to be representing them in their fundamental right to organize as workers.”
Restaurant Business Magazine
A four-unit coffee chain in the Boston area said in a tweet that it is willing to recognize a union formed by its employees without going through the formal election process, giving organized labor another victory in its recent efforts to penetrate the restaurant industry.
“If the Union has a written support of a majority of our employees, Darwin’s will recognize the Union and begin negotiations for a contract,” the Cambridge-based café chain said in its Twitter post.
The union, calling itself Darwin United, is affiliated with a New England operation of Unite Here, one of the major national unions representing foodservice workers.
Michelle Wu Advances to the General Election
After winning in neighborhoods all across the city of Boston, New England Joint Board UNITE HERE’s endorsed candidate for Mayor, Michelle Wu, will be advancing to the general election on November 2nd.
Please watch this video of Michelle Wu speaking about our union’s legacy and future. Your place in the union and in the labor movement is being recognized at all levels. Please consider supporting Michelle Wu in the final election for the Mayor of Boston, either by your vote or financial contribution.