MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Workers at a northeast Minneapolis microbrewery have voted to unionize.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative workers presented their request to be recognized as a union on Wednesday. In doing so, they became the first microbrewery in the country to unionize.
The CEO of the cooperative, Evan Salle, agreed to voluntarily recognize the union.
“I am proud of the self-determination our team has shown by taking on the responsibility of organizing to make Fair State better,” he said.
The employees will join Unite Here Local 17, a local hospitality union which represents over 6,000 workers in the Twin Cities. In the coming days, they will elect leaders in each department, such as brewing, packaging, retail, and administrative.
“I’ve been proud to work at a place like Fair State that doesn’t simply talk about community and democracy but attempts to structure itself to live up to those ideals,” said Anders Bloomquist, a warehouse specialist. “Now we get to enter an amazing new phase where that can be matched up with the formal voice of a union to better empower the workers at Fair State.”
Recently, Surly Brewing service workers also voted to unionize, though they were informed two days later that the Beer Hall – their place of employment – will close down in November. Though employees have accused the company of union busting, Surly has said their plans to close the Beer Hall were put in place weeks ago.