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SPoT Coffee workers say they were fired for attempting to unionize

Posted at 11:16 AM, Jul 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 14:46:15-04

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some workers at a coffee spot in the heart of Williamsville are looking for answers following the firing of three employees.

According to local labor officials the three workers are out of a job because they tried forming a union.

One employee stated "we were terminated out of the blue by our cafe managers who had their hands forced by upper management."

Philip Kneitinger and two of his colleagues say around the end of May they started talking about forming a workers union after a SPoT Coffee branch in Rochester successfully voted to unionize.

The employees had an informational meeting with workers from the Rochester branch and the employees say after that meeting upper management at SPoT asked for a list of workers who attended that meeting.

Last Tuesday the three employees say they were contacted and let go for no reason other than their attempt to unionize.

The employees say they had a good relationship with management and customers, they have been there for around four years. They have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

SPoT Coffee released this statement Thursdat afternoon:

Recent allegations in the media suggest that three Spot Coffee employees were discharged for improper reasons. Spot adamantly denies these claims. While our Company does not publicly discuss its personnel decisions, all of Spot Coffee’s personnel actions – including the recent employment terminations discussed in the media – are taken for lawful business reasons. Our employee team is, and always has been, a critical aspect of our business. For this reason, Spot considers the recent media allegations to be a very serious matter.

Spot Coffee is fully prepared to defend its business decisions before the National Labor Relations Board.

If you have any comments or concerns, please share them, but please be respectful. We know that many of you have already formed a conclusion about this matter, but we would like to be absolutely clear – Spot does not terminate employees in order to suppress union activity. We already have unionized employees, and we believe in their right to be organized as such and to bargain collectively.