After months of campaigning (and alleged Starbucks anti-union efforts), three Buffalo-area locations – one on Elmwood Avenue, one on Camp Road, and one on Genesee Street – voted to unionize, and on Thursday, November 9, these votes were counted. Each cafe voted individually, which means some can unionize while others cannot.
Now the votes have been counted and at least one of the Starbucks locations has successfully unionized, making it the first US-owned location to do so.
The first official result came from the Elmwood location, and by a final tally of 19 to eight voted in favor of unionization. Meanwhile, the Starbucks Camp location voted against unionization by a total of 12 to eight.
The final location to be called is Genesee, the outcome of which has yet to be officially decided. Leading 15 to nine, United Starbucks Workers claimed victory on the spot, but seven disputed ballots, one by the company and six by union organizers, have yet to be decided. By Yahoo! Finance, Starbucks closed a branch and allowed displaced employees to work temporarily at the Genesee branch, then “declared” them eligible to vote, which a pro-union Starbucks worker described as “an anti-union tactic by Starbucks for ballots.
When it was announced that Elmwood had been successful in their efforts, pro-union and progressive politicians took to Twitter to congratulate organizers on their victory, including Bernie sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth warren, Chuck schumer, New York Attorney General Letitia james, Michigan Congressman Rashida Tlaib, and former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration Robert reich.
With decisions now mostly made, it is up to Starbucks to recognize the unions and agree to bargain collectively, which an investment group, Trillium, which owns $ 48 million in Starbucks stock, has urged. the company to do ‘quickly and in good faith. . “The newly formed union will now strive to negotiate ‘better staffing, better training and better wages, including regular pay increases for workers who stay in the company for years,” said a Starbucks pro-union worker at NPR.
Although they represent only a very, very small portion of the coffee shops owned by the Starbucks company in the United States, the successful unionization of these two potential coffee shops can be the catalyst for similar efforts in other places; an Arizona Starbucks is already working to unionize. The coffee industry has historically had little union representation, but with victory in Buffalo along with successful union efforts at Colectivo in Wisconsin and Illinois and Gimme! Coffee, that narrative is changing rapidly. Will 2022 be the year of the coffee union?
Zac Cadwalader is editor-in-chief of Sprudge Media Network and editor-in-chief based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.