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The ethical business dismisses for union organizing? Eli and Shay on Just Us!

by Asaf Rashid

This is the discussion I had with Elijah Williams and Shay Enxuga on my show, From the Margins , on Monday, April 4th. By now, many probably already know a lot of the basic story: they were dismissed from their jobs as barristas at the Just Us café on Spring Garden Road on March 27th in response to their union organizing activities; the company / co-op maintains otherwise; the union they have been organizing with, the SEIU, has filed a an Unfair Labour Practice complaint about Just Us! to the Labour Board of Nova Scotia; discussions are ongoing. People can find a lot more info on these kinds of newsy details of the Halifax Media Coop site ( here and here ). On the show, we focused on more contextual issues: expectations upon being hired at the purportedly ethical business; how the café workers at Just Us! fit in -- or not -- into the co-op structure; why people are expressing shock and surprise at the turn of events; how a unionized workplace differs from the "democratic workplace" the café espouses; and other related subjects.

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