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JuiceLand workers push for more after management raises pay

A small group of JuiceLand employees organized a strike, which led to temporary closures and reduced hours at a handful of the company's 35 locations. (Austonia staff)

After a strike that left six JuiceLand locations temporarily closed, company leadership announced a series of changes, including an hourly wage increase. But a group of organized workers is calling for the strike to continue and urging customers to boycott the Austin-based business.

The organized workers, who have posted updates on Instagram and Twitter, said a Monday meeting with company leadership went well until their request to make a joint statement was not met.

"With the trust established broken, we saw no reason to halt the strikes anymore," the group wrote in posts on Wednesday morning. "We will work together only if we are included in the decisions supposed to be made together."

The workers initially demanded wage increases, better working conditions and pay transparency on Friday. JuiceLand leadership responded with a guaranteed tipped wage increase on Saturday that brought tipped employees up to $15 an hour and non-tipped employees up to $17 an hour, up from the previous $12.50 starting rate. Around 90% of the company's more than 500 employees are paid by the hour, a company spokesperson told Austonia.

The company announced additional commitments in a Wednesday press release, including to:

  • Take every allegation of racism, sexism or other form of discrimination seriously
  • Partner with an independent third party to provide a help line for anonymous reporting of concerns
  • Increase the frequency of employee-wide surveys to inform leadership of concerns
"Input from our employees at every level is essential to our growth and evolution as a company," JuiceLand founder and owner Matt Shook said in a statement.

The company moved quickly to put these measures in place, several of which were in the works prior to the pandemic but delayed as a result of it, according to the statement.

The JuiceLand spokesperson said a small group of nine employees was behind the Instagram account that originally raised these concerns. In a Tuesday Instagram post, the group said roughly 30 people attended a recent strike outside the company headquarters and that it was founded by "the Black and brown workers of JuiceLand."

The group has also organized a GoFundMe, which has raised $11,307 toward a $15,000 goal in the last three years. The funds will be distributed to striking employees.


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