The unionization movement sweeping coffee shops across the United States has come for Blue Bottle, with five of their Boston area cafes seeking to collectively bargain. After unsuccessfully requesting the company voluntarily recognize their union, the Blue Bottle Independent Union (BBIU) staged a walkout yesterday, April 8th, at all five participating locations.

As reported by Eater Boston, the BBIU encompasses five of the six Boston Blue Bottles; the Seaport location is the only to opt out. The newly-formed union is fighting for higher wages, more input in cafe operations, and protection from harassment.

In a statement about the walkout, the BBIU states:

While Blue Bottle prides itself on providing high quality specialty coffee and paying fair trade premiums, baristas are not paid enough to live in the city they work in. B.B.I.U. intends to hold both Blue Bottle and Nestlé to their proclaimed values of social consciousness by fighting for and demanding a living wage. With an overwhelming majority of workers at each of the five locations signing union cards, and with the prominent backing of their customers, community members, legal network, union siblings locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, the bold, brash, and brave baristas are ready, willing, and able to fight for (and win) an equitable share of the value they produce and rightfully deserve.

The workers returned to normal operations today, as a “display of [their] good faith.” Without the voluntary recognition of their union, the BBIU will now file with the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election. In the statement they describe their support from workers as an “undeniable majority,” and if the union vote is successful, they will then begin the process of negotiating a contract with the company, a process that can take as little as a few months, as was the case for Intelligentsia, or years, like with the ongoing union battle Starbucks Workers United is undertaking.

To help in their efforts, the BBIU has created a GoFundMe page seeking to raise $10,000. These funds, per the campaign, will “go toward expenses such as printing materials, our website, food, hosting union events, and other common expenses for a union.”

This story is developing…

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.