Lukas Weinstein was the manager at Spot Coffee in Williamsville, NY. In June, workers at Spot met with representatives from Workers United about forming a union. Lukas attended that meeting. Spot’s upper management demanded that he turn over the names of workers who attended the union meeting. Lukas refused. Then they demanded one final time and Lukas told his employees who had been at the meeting that it was either his job or theirs. He again refused and was fired a few days later. The company found out from another source who organized the union meeting and the two workers who hosted the union meeting at their home were also fired. Those two workers have now been reinstated with full back pay after the NLRB investigated and found merit in the union’s charges.
Supervisors/managers in the U.S. unfortunately are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act and the regional office of the NLRB, which has grown even more impotent under Trump, has found that Spot Coffee did not commit an unfair labor practice charge in terminating Lukas for refusing to turn in his fellow workers.
Lukas is a true working class hero. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his co-workers. Today he says he has no regrets and is proud to have played a major role in getting the union in across Buffalo at Spot Coffee. He also is encouraging former patrons who supported the Spot boycott to now return to Spot since the workers now have a union. Lukas is a class act, as courageous and principled as a person could be. And humble. He isn’t asking for this fundraising campaign. Workers United is. We believe that Lukas’ moral leadership should be rewarded, not penalized. Please help support Lukas, who lost thousands of dollars and his job because he stood by the union and by his co-workers. He is a true working class hero. Thank you for the consideration and the solidarity.
Richard Bensinger, Union Organizer