Workers at the Starbucks cafe at One East Main Street in Madison’s Capitol Square have voted 15-1 in favor of unionization, following a count of ballots by the National Labor Relations Board yesterday afternoon. One East Main Street became the first of the chain’s locations in Madison to do so. The workers will join the Chicago-based Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United. According to Lee Marfyak, a worker there, “I’m elated to win such an overwhelming victory for us by the Capitol but I’m not surprised. I’ve seen what we can do on a farmer’s market peak, banding together is something we do daily. I was proud to call us partners before, I’m even prouder to call us a union today.” Labor Radio spoke today to the Carlos Ginard, Assistant Manager of the Midwest office of Workers United, located in Chicago.
Ginard describes the communication network used by Starbucks worker-organizers.
This election victory and all of the organizing at Starbucks has come in the teeth of vicious and possibly illegal pushback by the coffee corporate giant, says Ginard.
The new Madison Starbucks union members will be able to participate in national negotiations if they want, says Ginard, who noted, though, that Starbucks has shown they will do all they can to stop that key first contract.
Ginard has a shoutout to the labor community here.
That was Carlos Ginard of the Midwest office of Workers United. Three more stores in Dane County have filed for representation: One in Monona, one in Fitchburg, and the University Avenue location in Madison, all part of a nationwide union movement which now includes almost 200 Starbucks locations. Frank Emspak contributed to this story. Some background information was provided through Channel 3000.
Reporting Courtesy of Greg Geboski
Image Courtesy of Gianluca Borchia on Flickr