United States employers are facing the challenge of hiring and retaining workers. This era of “Great Resignation” has provided an edge to the employees as they have more negotiating power. Moreover, many employees are demanding higher wages from the employers and have opted for strike if their demands are not excepted. Recently, Workers at the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. went on strike Wednesday. They are demanding to unionize and negotiate a new contract. The new contract calls for better working conditions and a fair wage of at least $15. Baristas and cooks took to the streets, picketing and staging a rally at the coffee company’s Detroit Midtown shop at 3965 Woodward Ave.

“A lack of communication and disrespect from management has been a consistent problem. No worker should have to choose between affording their rent or protecting their health.” Beck Kaster, a barista with the Detroit-based chain expressed his views.

“Comrades in Coffee”

The group is branding themselves as “Comrades in Coffee”. They are hoping to inspire coffee shop workers across Michigan to follow in their footsteps. Importantly, baristas and cooks at multiple Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company locations are into conversations with UNITE HERE! Moreover, they are following the footsteps of countless workers who have opted for strike for improved working conditions, fair wages, and respect on the job. The unions ratings are at an all time high. According to a Gallup poll conducted in September 2021, around 68% of American workers approve of labor unions. This is the highest percentage since 1965.

Coronavirus outbreak

Strike organizers said their efforts Wednesday came more than a month after nine workers at the Midtown shop tested positive for coronavirus. This prompted the workers to unionize and demand better and safer working conditions. The Midtown shop was closed after the coronavirus outbreak.

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    Great Lakes Coffee, a small chain owned by Greg and Lisa Miracle. It started in a garage on the west side twelve years back. The company portrays itself as a venture that cares about its community. However, Great Lakes Coffee is not the only company facing efforts to organize.

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