Partners and community members under the banner of the organizing group Starbucks Workers United showed out at the Capitol Square this Sunday in a rally to mark the celebration of May Day, also known as International Workers Day.
Convening outside of the cafe located on 1 East Main Street, Starbucks employees from Appleton, Madison, and Milwaukee expressed support and solidarity for the ongoing worker-led movement to organize cafes across the state and country.
Partners and community supporters marched in front of the Capitol Square location, engaging in chants to rouse support for the union:
Kaitlyn Polka, a partner and barista from the newly filed cafe in Appleton, had this to say about her vision of a unionized Starbucks:
In his speech to the crowd, President of the South Central Federation of Labor Kevin Gundlach marked the importance of the capitol square in the history of Wisconsin’s labor movement:
Gundlach explained to workers about the shared goals of laborers across industries, as well as the solidarity offered by current SCFL members:
Throughout the march, passing cars and pedestrians voiced their support for the Starbucks workers efforts:
Starbucks Workers United has now gained two victories in Wisconsin. The company’s Oak Creek cafe scored the first victory for the union in the state, voting 15 to 8 in favor of unionization at the end of April.
The second victory came this week, after a vote count this Wednesday determined that the company’s cafe location in Plover voted 7 to 5 in favor of unionizing.
Two further elections are slated for Wisconsin stores in the coming weeks; an Appleton cafe is set to end their election by June 15th, with a vote count beginning on the 16th. As of today, workers at the Madison cafe located on MLK and Main have not yet received an election date from the National Labor Relations Board.
Audio Sound Clips Courtesy of Frank Emspak
Reporting Courtesy of Sean Hagerup.
Image Courtesy of Piutus on Flickr