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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Robyn Urback: One unionized cup of coffee? That’ll be $8.95

Consider, for a moment, a scenario in which Halifax baristas are successful in their bid to unionize coffee shop workers across the city. Impassioned by the power of assembly, these organized employees decide to campaign for medical benefits from their employers, though the request is swiftly and firmly denied. A labour struggle then ensues in which baristas walk off the job, throwing the city into a caffeine panic and forcing the Nova Scotia government to step in and declare the job an essential service. Baristas begrudgingly return to their posts, though they now serve the bitterest of cups, both literally and figuratively. The city is never the same.

Perhaps it’s a bit of hypothetical hyperbole (well, maybe just the “essential service” part), but that scenario may not be that far off from what awaits the people in Halifax.


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