Starbucks stores across the country continue their drive for unionization in the wake of another electoral victory for Starbucks Workers United, an organizing affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. This second victory came at one of the three Buffalo stores which had originally filed for a union election in August 2021. This store’s union certification had been delayed after the initial count due to a series of contested ballots on both sides. After these ballots were set aside, the count of 15 votes for and 9 against was made official by the National Labor Relations Board.
New filings in Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon have all occurred since the new year, and the announcement of the second Buffalo victory. Overall, 26 Starbucks stores across the country have now initiated an election process with the NLRB.
In an effort to dilute voting pools, Starbucks has argued to the NLRB that elections filed by individual stores should be opened to all baristas in the market, claiming that workers often “float” from one store to another. The NLRB has denied each of these requests, saying that important specifics like wages and staffing are determined at the store level.
If opened to all company owned stores, employees filing for an election would be grouped with almost 9,000 other locations across the country.
In response to the company’s attempt to defeat union elections, Starbucks Workers United lashed the company’s anti-electoral behavior to their corporate values. In a recent public statement, the organizing group stated, “One of Starbucks’ values is to challenge the status quo. We call on Starbucks to live up to this value by respecting our right to unionize and creating a true partnership. Starbucks should stop trying to bust our union and take this opportunity to set a new industry standard.”
Reporting Courtesy of Sean Hagerup
Photo Courtesy of Open Grid Scheduler on Flickr
Web Posting Courtesy of JJ Meyer