Boulder business’ employees vote to unionize

Boulder business’ employees vote to unionize

Workers at Spruce Confections recently voted to organize for better pay and benefits.

BOULDER, Colo. — A group of baristas and bakers in Boulder will be celebrating Sunday morning between serving up cups of coffee.

Workers at Spruce Confections will hold a rally outside the company’s location on Pearl Street celebrating their recent vote to unionize.

“I’ll be inside making coffee drinks, but I’ll be supporting them from afar,” said barista Micah Butler.

On Monday, votes were tallied from workers at the company’s four coffee shops and warehouse. They voted 31-9 to join the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, and Grain Millers Union Local 26, according to an organizer with the local union.

“First and foremost, I think we all want a seat at the table,” said Noah Hill, a barista at Spruce Confections. “We want a voice to discuss decisions that impact all of our livelihoods.”

Hill said the past couple years have been rough for baristas and especially bakers.

“We’ve been working through labor shortages,” Hill said. “We’ve been denied raises. We worked through the pandemic without health care, and that has all been very tough.”

Hill said Spruce Confections employs about 70 to 90 people at a time, and he’s noticed turnover is a problem. There are seven open positions listed on the company’s website. 

“A lot of people have left,” Hill said.

Hill and coworkers like Butler want better pay and benefits. Butler said the company only offers health insurance to employees who work 38 hours a week.

“As a barista, my shifts are like about six-and-a-half hours long, so the only way that I could even make it to 38 hours is if I worked seven days a week,” Butler said.

The owner of Spruce Confections did not respond to 9NEWS’ request for comment Saturday afternoon on the union vote. 

Workers who supported the effort to unionize plan to gather outside the café on Pearl Street for a rally at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

RELATED: Colorado labor unions take action as demand grows and shortages continue

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