Workers at Three Brothers Coffee, who unionized last year under the banner Coffee Workers of the South United, are orchestrating a concerted labor strike, in pursuit of better wages and working conditions. Workers at Three Brothers successfully unionized with UFCW in April 2022, and have been in collective bargaining negotiations since last June. Now negotiating wages and benefits, workers allege ownership has not provided reasonable or good faith counters to their wage proposals. Workers are encouraging community members to picket in front of the business anytime from 10 AM to 1 PM this week, and continue to express support for their efforts in online reviews of the company. Workers at the shop say they have full solidarity from the current staff for the strike, and will withhold their labor until their demands are met, but add that ownership has a chance to address all of their concerns at a collective bargaining negotiation meeting Wednesday 6/14.

One worker, who has asked to remain anonymous, states, “Ownership has refused to budge on the same pay structure which has been in place for at least four years. They refuse to account for the COVID-19 recession or the rapidly increasing cost of life. There’s been no give whatsoever in response to our myriad attempts to negotiate in good faith. We have to act in the only way which will make them hear us.”

Coffee Workers of the South United — that is, the entire staff of Three Brothers Coffee — is withholding its labor until our demand of $16/hour + tip matching is met. Thankfully, ownership has an opportunity to swiftly end the strike at our negotiation meeting Wednesday by working with us to finalize our collective bargaining agreement and putting it up to a vote as soon as possible.
According to Nashville Living Wage, the living wage in Nashville, based on the survival wage rate for Davidson County as determined by the 2020 ALICE Report from the United Way of Tennessee, is $15.40 with healthcare + benefits, or $17.40 without healthcare + benefits.
Since at least 2016, workers at Three Brothers have started at $9/hour. This rate has remained unchanged to the present day, and workers do not receive healthcare. There has been no change to account for the COVID-19 recession or the rapidly increasing cost of living. Adjusted for inflation, $9 in 2016 would be worth $11.38 today, nearly a dollar over what even Shift Leads make today — people who have been working at Three Brothers for years. Additionally, due to staffing shortages and an interim manager absent from day to day operations, we’ve each taken on more work without any increase in pay, and we will only do the work that we are paid for.
Though a stability wage is estimated at $32.78, and a survival wage without healthcare and benefits at $17.40, we have come to demand $16/hour plus guaranteed tip matching through the tediousness of negotiations. This is something which ownership can surely afford, and would be wise to agree to at our scheduled negotiation meeting Wednesday 6/14 so as to end the strike quickly.

All funds collected will be evenly distributed to the striking workers.


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 6 mos
  • Pallavi Chandna
    • $10 
    • 7 mos
  • Maria Alvarez
    • $10 
    • 8 mos
  • Ayesha Khan
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
  • Marktavius Fields
    • $50 
    • 8 mos


Coffee Workers Of The South
Nashville-Davidson, TN

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