LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s been nine months and still no deal.

What You Need To Know

  •  Sunergos Coffee employees voted to unionize in January

  •  Employees have not reached a first contract agreement with owners

  •  Baristas threaten to strike and call for a boycott of the coffee chain

  • UAW vows support of coffee employees, commits to boycott

Sunergos Coffee employees are threatening another and longer strike after months of union negotiations have stalled with owners. Sunergos employees voted last January to union, but employees and owners have yet to reach their first union contract agreement.

Employees are seeking a base wage of $12 an hour and having certain protections known as “just cause.” According to Sunergos barista Clove Harrington, Sunergos owners will not offer more than $10/hr starting pay.

Current starting pay is $8.25 according to Harrington. “I want to say at least the last 10 years, it’s been $8.25 and the pay caps at $11.25 and their new wage proposal caps pay at $11.50,” Harrington explained.

On Monday, Sunergos baristas called for a boycott of the Louisville-based coffee chain and say they are preparing for a longer strike. Last July, employees walked off the job for a single day.

“And we need a contract now and so we are preparing to strike and it’s just, yeah, it means the world to us that all of these people have our back,” Harrington shared.

If a contract agreement is not reached, baristas and other staff may have to vote again on whether to stay unionized.

United Auto Workers Local 862 members have now joined the fight with Sunergos employees. Its president, Todd Dunn, is pledging to support baristas if they do strike.

“And ask all of our unions to participate in guarantee up to a week’s worth of, what it would take for them to be on strike, each union to adopt a single Sunergos worker,” Dunn told reporters.

Dunn is asking all union workers in Louisville to boycott Sunergos locations. “That’s union labor, union families, that shop in this town that have advocated for a strong union workforce. We’ve got a great contract with the UAW and we will not be spending our money at Sunergos Coffee,” he declared.

Sunergos Coffee has five locations in Louisville and over 60 employees. UAW President Todd Dunn says he’s hoping to raise up to $600 in strike pay for each Sunergos employee.