Baristas Rise Up in Halifax

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The low wage service sector is one of the most difficult sectors for workers to form unions.  The small workplaces’ lack of union tradition, high staff turnover and aggressive anti-union managers and owners in the sector have meant that most unions have stayed away from organizing places such as coffee shops.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia coffee shop workers at several workplaces have started to come together to try to transform the low wage, precarious work of baristas into something better by forming unions with the Service Employees International Union Local 2. Organizing in this sector is necessary if the union movement is to remain vibrant and relevant.

Here are a selection of articles about the union campaign in Halifax and a short video of a young coffee shop worker speaking out about the need for unionizing in her place of work.

Unionizing baristas symptom of job crisis in NS

Second Cup baristas allegedly fired after union vote 

Putting the heat on Second Cup 

Halifax Just Us! cafe site to be unionized

Halifax coffee shop workers push for unionization

Professor Kendra Coulter speaks about the Halifax coffee workers and organizing in the service sector

Professor Larry Haiven speaks about unionizing the service industry


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One thought on “Baristas Rise Up in Halifax

  1. Congratulations to the young workers’ (Baristas) in coffee shops all over the Country. Thank you workers’ in Nova Scotia for starting this important movement.
    It is necessary for young workers’ to get involved and form Unions not only in the Coffee Shop industry but in all workplaces, otherwise, the Union movement will die. We need new Unionists so that we can keep those at the top accountable and to continue to organize. The CLC is pretty lax these days and needs to be rebooted. Thanks again. In Solidarity.

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