The exterior of the Little Dog Coffee Shop on Maine Street in Brunswick Monday afternoon. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

A two-week strike by the Little Dog Coffee Shop union has ended.

The union, comprised of 10 workers, voted to go on strike June 10 after a credit card reader broke down. The workers in November voted to unionize through Workers United and also held a one-day strike in May. They claim owner Larry Flaherty has refused to fix broken equipment, prohibited pro-union signage in the store, reduced the shop’s hours and refused to negotiate a contract, among other complaints.

Patrick Bruce, an organizer for Workers United who has been working with the union and Flaherty, said Monday the strike had ended. He declined to comment further and said the union will release a statement. The union did not respond to an email Monday afternoon. Sophie Creamer, who has served as a union spokesperson, could not be reached via phone Monday afternoon.

Inside the Maine Street shop Monday, a man who declined to be identified said he purchased the coffee shop’s equipment from Flaherty and plans to reopen the space under a new name, keeping it as a coffee shop. He declined to comment further. Flaherty did not return phone or email messages as of Monday afternoon.

Union signs that had adorned the shop’s exterior were removed, as was the Little Dog Coffee Shop logo.

The union in recent months filed several unfair labor practice charges against Flaherty with the National Labor Relations Board.


“We’re very proud to be out here on the picket line — bringing light onto the mistreatment we’ve had to endure for months and months,” the union said in a statement at the start of its strike this month. “The amount of (unfair labor practice charges) filed against the owner are egregious but easily avoidable. … And yet, here we are. Our working conditions have felt nearly impossible to thrive in, let alone complete out basic tasks.”

Flaherty has denied many of the union’s claims and said he has addressed complaints about broken equipment, including fixing the card reader that led to the latest strike.

“It’s a very frustrating process for myself because no matter what happens, I’m the bad guy,” he said about a week into the strike. At the time, he said he was reviewing “all options,” including possibly selling the business.

Flaherty acquired Little Dog last year. He also owns the Met Coffee House chain, with one location in Freeport and two in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Workers United is an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union that represents Starbucks workers at shops across the country, including one in Biddeford and another in Portland that recently closed.

In a statement following the strike in May, Flaherty said, “Unfortunately, this is what big unions like (the Service Employees International Union) do to little companies and mom-and-pop shops like us — they hit us with one strike and/or unfair labor practice charge after another (justified or not) knowing how costly it will be for the business to continue to lose revenue or try and defend itself, with the intent of either making the business cave to their demands or shut down entirely.”

Bruce said Flaherty had been difficult to reach to set up meetings to try and resolve the strike.

“We have not been able to see eye-to-eye on anything,” Bruce said in the middle of this month’s strike. “The workers want to work and they want to work safely.”

Striking Little Dog Coffee Shop union workers were joined by Bath Iron Works union workers in rallies this month. Courtesy of Machinists Local S6

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