In May, Intelligentsia’s Chicago workforce submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to begin the process of unionizing. Now, two months later, the votes have been cast and workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing.
The announcement was made earlier today, August 8th, that workers at all five of Intelligentsia’s Chicago retail locations will be represented by The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1220, the same organization the Chicagoland locations of Colectivo Coffee joined last year.
Per a statement from the IBEW, the ballots were mailed to the NLRB, which were then opened and counted this morning. Votes were 90% in favor of unionizing. From Local 1220 Business Manager John Rizzo:
Local 1220 is beyond thrilled to learn that the employees at Intelligentsia have chosen to join the ranks of the IBEW as union members. We congratulate the new members on their successful election and welcome them all as our union Brothers and Sisters.
Organizing a workplace can be a challenging process, but when the workers come together in the best interest of both themselves and their peers, everybody wins in the end. A collective bargaining agreement is one of the strongest tools that workers have. It gives employees an ability to have their voices heard at work. Intelligentsia employees will now have a seat at the table and a say in their employment and working conditions.
The IBEW looks forward to meeting the company at the bargaining table in good faith to begin working on our first agreement on behalf of the workers.
In total, 30 Chicago Intelli employees will be represented by the IBEW. The original petition included workers at Intelligentsia’s Chicago roasting space as well, but per the press release, the company “ challenged those workers and their managerial roles within the company.” The IBEW states that they will seek to represent these workers in a future campaign.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.