First Starbucks Union In The U.S: A historic day for labor


 Unquestionably, Starbucks is the world's largest coffeehouse chain and one of the most well-known consumer brands. Starbucks has approximately 9,000 corporate-owned outlets in the United States alone, yet not a single one of them is unionized... until today. Workers at three Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York, filed votes last week after spearheading an organizing drive during the COVID-19 epidemic and confronting relentless efforts by the management to postpone, deflate, and defeat union elections with the National Labor Relations Board. 

Following the results of the vote count on Thursday, one of the three Buffalo stores, located on Elmwood Avenue, became the first unionized company-owned store in the United States. Another business on Camp Road voted against unionization, while workers at the Genesee Street store in Cheektowaga appear to have voted "yes" on unionization, but numerous ballots are currently being challenged.

Separate union elections were held at three Buffalo-area establishments. Baristas and shift managers at one location voted 19-8 to unionize, while workers at the other store voted 12-8 against unionization.

The third store was unable to make a decision and is now facing legal action. There were 15 votes in favor of unionization, 9 votes against, and 7 votes were contested. The union filed the majority of the challenges, claiming that several of the workers who voted were not regular employees at the facility.

The election represents one of the most high-profile union victories for restaurant employees in the United States, who are among the least organized in the country.

Starbucks employees who decided to unionize will become members of Workers United, which is associated with the large Service Employees International Union.

In reality, Starbucks has successfully resisted organizational efforts in New York City and Philadelphia. For a time in the 1980s, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represented certain Starbucks employees. That union still covers workers at several grocery store locations that are not directly operated by Starbucks.

Then, in Canada, workers at a corporate-run Starbucks unionized last year. And now, three other sites in the Buffalo region and one in Arizona are attempting to form a union.

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