I offer my heartfelt, thunderous congratulations to the workers at Coffee By Design for ratifying their union contract. It’s my hope their solidarity will inspire workers at other Maine coffee shops to reach out to Local 327 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America to learn how they, too, can unionize their workplaces.

I’d like to commend the ownership of Coffee By Design for embracing the union voluntarily. Seeing a 30-year-old Maine company join the pro-labor movement makes me wonder what other iconic Maine businesses could support their workers by welcoming unions.

As a thought experiment, I believe it would be powerful for the workers at L.L.Bean to take their first steps to unionizing. For so many people, L.L.Bean is synonymous with Maine. I would feel immense local pride knowing that L.L.Bean workers — whether at their flagship store in Freeport or their outlets in Bangor and Ellsworth — are so valued by corporate ownership that they’re part of a new union that is recognized voluntarily.

In my personal view, this is an aspect of the superlative ripple effect of the Coffee By Design union. I believe their workers are leading by example and showing Mainers throughout our wonderful state that forming a union is beneficial and achievable.

Aaron Bergeron

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