Sunergos employees say strike is brewing, company still negotiating
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Employees at a local coffee chain say some of their drinks cost more than their baristas make an hour, and they are on the verge of striking if the company does not meet their demands.
Sunergos employees have been negotiating for months for higher wages and protections against firings without cause. Employees want their base pay to be raised to twelve dollars an hour, a three dollar and seventy-five cents raise.
Employees say the company caps pay at $11.25. In their new contract proposals, it only went up a quarter. The company did go up on their prices recently, citing inflation and cost of goods.
”It’s difficult to tell customers your drink now costs more than our starting wage, which is $8.25.” Clove Harrington, Sunergos Coffee, said. “There’s a lot of drinks on the menu now that cost $8.25 at least. It’s insulting to ask that from a customer and that would pay my next hour of work.”
Earlier this year, the Sunergos employees were on strike for one day to send the company a message. Nine months of negotiations later, they are still fighting for a better contract.
”There’s little over a hundred of Sunergos employees and we’ve gotten over 60,000 at UAW Ford,” Todd Dunn, local UAW President and Greater Louisville Central Council President, said. “The UAW got it done in four months and Sungergos is at nine months. Just trying to clear that up.”
Sungeros employees won their union re-election in January of this year. Because the status of their contract negotiations are in limbo, they are worried about what that means moving forward. As employees fight for higher wages, they hope customers support them.
“We would love it if customers could stand with us and boycott Sunergos as we prepare to go on strike,” Harrington said. “Until we get a contract, don’t give them any more of your money until they meet our demands and give us more money and what we deserve.”
We reached out to Sungeros for a comment and haven’t heard back. No specific date for a strike has been set.
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