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Starbucks v. The Union: Several More Stores Vote to Unionize

Three more Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York voted to unionize. As of early March 2022, employees at six U.S. Starbucks locations have voted to unionize, including one store in Arizona. NPR reports employees at stores in Seattle, Boston, Kansas City, and western New York plan to vote soon. Out of 9,000 Starbucks stores across the country, 130 stores have petitioned to hold union votes.

Union organizers for Workers United say they want employees to receive better training, better staffing, and better pay. Starbucks publicly stated, “We will respect the process and will bargain in good faith guided by our principles. We hope that the union does the same.”

Union organizers told The New York Times that Starbucks has been trying to thwart the process. They claim the company has cut employee hours, hoping that long-time employees will leave, and they can hire employees less interested in unionizing. These organizers also claim the company is using seldom enforced policies to get rid of pro-union employees. The company purportedly dramatically increased the number of employees at a store voting on whether to unionize. The company said it was helping with understaffing; the union said it was to dilute votes. One new union location was closed for two months to turn it into a training facility. The union has filed 20 unfair labor practice charges accusing the company of singling out union supporters. The company denies claims of anti-union activity.