Union vote is tied at Colectivo, setting stage for NLRB hearing

By: - April 7, 2021 5:15 am

Instagram page for Colectivo Collective (Screen capture | Instagram)

A vote on union representation at the Colectivo chain of coffee houses in Illinois and Wisconsin will require a federal hearing to resolve.

Ballots were counted in the election Tuesday on whether Colectivo employees would be represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The result was 99 votes for and 99 against the union, with Colectivo challenging 16 ballots.

The challenged ballots will be subject to a hearing with officials from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A hearing date and timetable haven’t been set yet, according to the IBEW.

The hearing will determine which, if any, of the challenged ballots would be counted. Any ballots that survive the challenge would then be opened and counted, resulting in a new tally to determine the final result.

The outcome of Tuesday’s vote “doesn’t mark the end, it merely marks a new chapter in the workers’ desire for better rights and protections at their worksites,” said Dean Warsh, IBEW Local 494 business manager, in a statement.

Late Tuesday, Colectivo issued a statement that stated simply that “the union did not obtain a majority of votes necessary to move ahead with organizing” following the vote count. The statement acknowledged the pending NLRB review of challenged ballots. 


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Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.