MISSOULA, Mont. — Delayed voting and hard work made the Third Wave Workers union vote a little nerve-wracking for Black Coffee Roasting Company employees.
But now the vote has been approved, and members couldn't be more relieved and excited.
“It was really exciting, because it was a thing we have been waiting for so long, but there was just so much work involved with it, so I feel like a lot of our brains were in such a mode that was like what next,” Third Wave Workers member Johannah Kohorst said. “It finally came through, and we did have a moment of just like awesome, and now like what do we have to get done.”
Since this will be an independent union, there are still a lot of steps to formation, like writing their own bylaws.
Third Wave had some help getting the effort going, and members think they will get even more with the next steps of the process.
“I think we will actually have more, because when we started people didn't know about it, and then once we started getting traction, then other unions in the state -- other people who had union law experience started reaching out and being like, ‘This is a serious thing that is happening, and we want to be a part of it,’” Third Wave Workers member Marley Pine said.
The vote passed by a wide margin, 7-2, showing the resolve and unity among the employees.
“It was evident from really early on that there was a lot of consensus about the desire to do this. It wasn't just one or two people. We were kind of expecting that, but it's cool to see it pan out that way,” Third Wave Workers member Stacia Hill said.
And there's a reason why so many voted to approve the union's formation.
“What the union title gets us is a legal right to sit down with our employers and negotiate a fair contract, and they have to negotiate in good faith with us,” Pine said.
The group hopes the efforts inspire others to pursue union formation at other businesses.
They add there is lots of help out there for people looking to do the same thing.