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Milwaukee coffee shop could be first union of its kind in state

Posted at 10:05 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 23:07:18-05

MILWAUKEE — For the first time in Wisconsin, coffee shop workers may be unionized, as Stone Creek Coffee workers filed a letter of intent to vote on unionizing.

Some workers at the popular Milwaukee coffee shop say their work culture needs to change.

"I would love to have paid time off and just basic rights," said barista Maria Brondino.

She is also on the union organizing team. Brondino said she and her coworkers have been having issues getting their schedules in a timely manner, getting regular bathroom breaks and she says if she's sick, she can't just call in.

"If we are sick we don't really get sick leave," said Brondino. "So we have to call 20 people in the company to get a shift filled, and often times that is not possible so we have to come in and work when we are ill."

Teamsters Local 344 filed a letter of intent for the Stone Creek Coffee workers to organize. They can do this when 30 percent of workers at a company ask to unionize.

At Stone Creek, there are 130 workers including baristas, bakery workers, delivery drivers and factory employees that would be represented.

The director of organizing for Teamsters Local 334 Kevin Schwerdtfeger said he had trouble finding another coffee shop union in the country.

"The first of its kind in the state for sure," said Schwerdtfeger. "And the second in the country from what I understand."

TODAY'S TMJ4 reached out to Stone Creek by phone and email but have not heard back. There's a sign inside the Milwaukee store on Downer Ave. saying they will be shut down again Wednesday at 5 p.m. for what they're calling another company learning event.