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(en) US, NYC Coffee Shop Workers Join the Retail Workers Union IWW IU/660

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 1 Mar 2005 20:02:48 +0100 (CET)

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New York, NY- Workers at the Vox Pop coffee shop in
Brooklyn unanimously joined the Industrial Workers of
the World last week. The employees join a growing
movement of NYC retail workers, including Starbucks
baristas, who are striving to increase union
membership in the industry.
“Vox Pop workers decided we wanted to take the shop’s
motto of democracy to its fullest extent,” said
employee Emmy Gilbert. “And the IWW doesn’t think
organizing retail is futile.”

Each of the six workers on the job joined the IWW, a
worker-controlled union dedicated to democracy in the
workplace. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this
year, the Union is undergoing a renaissance driven by
grassroots organizing around the country.

The NYC Retail Workers Union IWW IU/660 is based on
the solidarity unionism model whereby a retail worker
can join from any shop at anytime. Membership in the
Union does not terminate when a worker changes jobs, a
feature particularly well suited to the high turnover
in the retail industry.

Vox Pop is a coffee
shop/bookstore/print-on-demand/publishing company in
the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. The owners supported
the union drive.

“New Yorkers can take heart in the fact that
fair-trade coffee served by a 100% unionized workforce
is now available in our city,” said Daniel Gross, a
Starbucks barista and IWW organizer. “The Starbucks
sweatshop approach to coffee is not the only way.”
* [Ed. Note: IWW - Industrial Workers of the World is
antiauthoritarian anticapitalist direct action syndicate.]

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