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Anchor Brewing Workers Just Ratified Their First Union Contract

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From left: Agustin Ramirez from ILWU with Blake Dahlstrom and Chris Castaing from Anchor Brewing. Photo from ILWU

As of today, Anchor Brewing workers are now officially part of the Warehouse Division of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). This afternoon at 1pm they ratified their first contract with an overwhelming vote of 49 yes to 3 no.

Back in March the workers voted to unionize which made major waves in the world of beer. Considering Anchor Brewing is part of what launched the craft beer revolution, workers at other breweries are now looking towards Anchor as an inspiration.

As you can imagine, the workers at Anchor Brewing are ecstatic. Jon Ezell who works in the brewery and was one of the lead negotiators said “I now feel like I have a piece of this. We’re working for ourselves now and not the company.”

From left: Jon Ezell, Ryan Enright (from Anchor), Chris Christensen and Agustin Ramirez from ILWU. Photo from ILWU.

Blake Dahlstrom who works at Anchor Public Taps (the brewery’s on-site bar), and was part of the bargaining committee, gushed about today’s historic event. Originally she was against against the workers unionizing because there was a lot of misinformation on the web about unions, and because there wasn’t a precedent of a brewery unionizing like this.  “A lightbulb went off at one point and I thought ‘let’s set a precedent,'” she told me over the phone.

Dahlstrom talked further about how Anchor’s unionizing has inspired a host of other people, “I had one guy at the bar who purposefully extended his layover to make sure he could come to Anchor Public Taps and drink union beer.”

The Anchor and ILWU crews taking a picture of this historic moment. Photo from ILWU.

Some of the things the union won in the contract negotiations are: an 8% raise in 2020, three raises in 2021, and paid vacation for all employees, including part-timers. Most importantly, Dahlstrom told me, was that they created an easy pathway for part-time employees to become full-time. This is particularly important because it will allow these employees to get healthcare and other benefits.

You can check out the video we made about Anchor Brewery Unionizing right here:

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.