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Gimme Barista Pandemic Impact Fund

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New York State has ordered all restaurants to be takeout-only, and that all non-essential businesses must reduce their staffing by 50%. In Ithaca’s service-based economy, these moves alone are catastrophic for the working class — and more is coming.

As baristas, we can’t work from home. We’re facing lost hours, indefinite layoffs, and huge reductions in tips — which make up 40% of our already-scarce wages. On top of that, service work is one of the highest-risk jobs in a pandemic, and even those who aren’t laid off are being forced to quarantine ourselves without pay for our own safety and the safety of our loved ones.

Gimme rejected our emergency sick leave proposal. Instead, they offered one dollar from each sale of the Rally Blend — plus a promise not to deny unemployment claims. For most of us, this is not enough.

So, as the organizers’ creed goes: Who protects us? We protect us! To start, this fund will go to providing support for our 32 Union baristas who are in need of immediate relief while we wait for help to come through official channels. It will be run democratically and with complete transparency, with the goal of helping cover groceries, medications, and other immediate needs for those who are unable to work, losing hours, or dealing with unexpected expenses. We’re not sure what will happen to us, but we can’t take any chances.  If you have anything to spare, or know anyone who does — please help us out and please spread the word. 

For updates on the status the Gimme Baristas Union check out our Facebook page.
To help us keep the money we have left, please consider signing the Ithaca Rent Freeze petition .

Love and Solidarity,
Gimme Barista Unionistas


Gimme Baristas Union
Ithaca, NY

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