Starbucks Employees Vote to Unionize

Three Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ: SBUX) cafe employees in Buffalo, New York, voted Wednesday to unionize, bringing to six the number of stores in the country with a union.

This move is made against the backdrop of increasing unionization efforts at large U.S. companies, such as Inc.

Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union said Wednesday that the votes were won in Buffalo by Walden Anderson, Sheridan, Bailey, and Depew.

The U.S. voted in the election. Senator Bernie Sanders called out Starbucks to “end Union Busting and embrace this Movement.”

“Starbucks employees have voted to join unions six out of seven times. Over 120 additional shops will soon host union elections. He tweeted that the movement to unionize Starbucks was spreading like wildfire.

Starbucks, which operates approximately 9,000 locations in the United States, didn’t immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Starbucks workers from over 100 locations across 26 states have petitioned National Labor Relations Board for union elections. This includes flagship Reserve Roastery locations in New York City and Seattle.

Two other Buffalo stores voted in December and January to unionize and have started negotiating contracts. The union was rejected by workers at a third store in the city. 

The first U.S.-owned company outside of New York to form a labor union was Mesa, Arizona’s Starbucks workers last month. 

Workers at the Starbucks Corp café in Mesa, Arizona won Friday their bid to join a union. This was the first U.S. company-owned location to do so, and it marks the state’s first.

According to the National Labor Relations Board’s live-streamed ballot count, employees voted 25 to 3 to join Workers United. This affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

Three of the roughly 9,000 locations in the United States have voted to join the union, but others are still waiting to vote.

Over 100 employees in more than 100 stores across at least 26 states have filed petitions to the NLRB for union elections. This includes the Reserve Roastery stores in New York City and Seattle, which are home to Starbucks.

Legal arguments are also being won by the union. After Starbucks challenged election procedures, Friday’s ballot count was rescheduled but it lost.

Starbucks released a statement regarding Friday’s results. “We hope the union does the exact same.”


Katie Sullivan

Katie is a digital nomad and business consultant. She has a bachelor's degree in business and has in the last 15 years in both the private and non-profit sectors. Her passion is helping people become better themselves and in turn creating better businesses. When she isn't chasing around her twin boys, she loves reading and gardening. She can be reached at [email protected]

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