Starbucks unionization efforts gain steam as baristas from several outlets vote for unions

Starbucks, once upon a time, was the favorite place for baristas and others to work but lost its sheen during and after the pandemic. Now, despite an initial slow start, a number of these beverages stores are jumping on the union bandwagon. What began as one store in Buffalo is now becoming a movement as 20 stores, including four this week have voted unanimously for unions.

More than 200 stores, out of the over 9,000 locations in the nation, have asked for elections to be held and others are joining in everyday. It has became a movement. Only one among the initial three stores in Buffalo who voted against the formation of a union, is now against unionization.

On April 4, Howard Schulz returned to Starbucks. He appealed to the workers to vote against union formation but it might have come too late. He rejoined the company of which he was a founding member more than four decades ago. He addressed his employees on the move to unionize saying that he was saddened by it.

Starbucks reported record breaking sales, after the pandemic. The then CEO Kevin Johnson was to get a 40 percent raise while workers saw their pandemic benefits being cut. The company said that the workers’ benefits had been replaced with different ones and the workers would now receive at least $15 per hour by summer 2022.

The workers feel that they needed this rise in wages, many years ago. They also want consistent schedules as well the number of hours they would get allocated each week. They believe that such demands could be met more easily when they have a union, to stand up for them.

Starbucks is looking to ramp its management by hiring for corporate positions including advocacy, media relationship and communications. Management employees with labor relations experience including how to deal with strike contingencies and more are reportedly what the company is looking for according to the job requirements recently posted.





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