By Alice Herman, In These Times

For workers organizing a union at Colectivo Coffee Roasters, the last five months have been a grueling exercise in waiting.

“I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs, I’m so nervous,” Lauretta Archibald, a former Colectivo baker and union activist, texted me in early April. That day, she and other union supporters had expected to learn the results of a union election a year in the making. They would wait much longer. Although a majority of ballots were counted on April 6, the result was a tie (99-to-99) with seven contested ballots remaining unopened.

On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) counted the remaining ballots and, by a margin of seven votes, the workers won union representation with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 494. The result will make Colectivo the largest unionized coffee chain in the country.

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