The Spring 2023 issue of Food & Dining Magazine is now available in all the familiar places: Louisville area eateries and food shops, newsstands and online.

The Heine Brothers Coffee Union had an announcement yesterday at Twitter.

The text: “We’ve got some big news! Just *11* months after taking our organizing public – we have reached an agreement and are ready to ratify our first contract! Here’s some of the MAJOR improvements we’re thrilled to announce 1/5 #UnionsForAll.”

Four subsequent tweets specified sick days, scheduling, and economic security as among the items in the emerging contract.

Last April F&D took a passing glance at unionization in the food and drink sector.

Heine Brothers’ Coffee employees announce a plan to unionize

You’ll undoubtedly recall Newton’s Third Law, stating that “for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

The Lever recently reported on the reaction to unionization, beginning with the October 2022 meeting of the Restaurant Law Center, legal arm of the National Restaurant Association, where “lawyers and executives grappled with a worker uprising.”

Here’s a teaser. There are no free lunches, but The Lever works without a pay wall.

Fear And Loathing Among The Union Busters, by Julia Rock

…Lobbying groups often invite government officials to their conferences to curry favor or gain insight into regulatory developments. But America’s chief enforcer of federal labor law at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had not stuck to the proverbial script.

Instead, the agency’s general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo warned audience members that if they fired workers for union organizing, the NLRB would not only reinstate the workers, but also seek full back pay and even public apology letters.

“I’m not nickel and diming workers,” Abruzzo told the audience, which included lawyers from Fisher Phillips, Jackson Lewis, and Littler Mendelson, three of the biggest union-avoidance law firms in the country.

Abruzzo’s candid reminders that the NLRB is a “pro-worker” agency, formed in part to “level the playing field between employers and workers,” contrasted sharply with presentations by other speakers at the Restaurant Legal Summit — the 6th annual conference held by the legal arm of the notorious National Restaurant Association, referred to by critics as the “other NRA.” This year, executives linked to Aramark, Red Lobster, McDonald’s, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Arby’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts had gathered with management-side employment lawyers to plot ways to beat back a growing threat: a restive workforce demanding higher pay, better working conditions, and, increasingly, union representation.

The restaurant industry has long coordinated efforts to suppress labor costs through the NRA, a multimillion-dollar lobbying machine funded both by its restaurant members and by the fees workers pay for required food-safety classes, according to a recent New York Times report…