NEW YORK — Workers at three New York City Starbucks locations have launched efforts to unionize, two months after a store in Buffalo became the first of the chain’s U.S. outposts to vote in favor of a union.
Employees at a store in Astor Place, a store inside the Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Center in Brooklyn and at the Roastery and the Roastery Manufacturing Store in Chelsea on Thursday filed for union recognition with Workers United NY/NJ Regional Joint Board, the union, which is an affiliate of Service Employees International Union, said in a press release.
What You Need To Know
- Workers at three New York City Starbucks locations have launched efforts to unionize
- Employees at the three locations filed for union recognition with Workers United NY/NJ Regional Joint Board
- Two months ago, a store in Buffalo became the first of the chain’s U.S. outposts to vote in favor of a union
- A Starbucks spokesperson on Thursday said the chain's "belief has been that we are better together as partners, without a union between us"
A total of 72 shops across the country have now filed for union recognition, the release said.
“We are proud to be the union home of Starbucks Workers United,” Board President Julie Kelly said in a statement. “This is the beginning of a long fight, and we are ready.”
“The workers are strong and committed, we have widespread support from elected officials and the public, and we are standing strong in the face of corporate union busting, with partners leading the way,” Kelly added, calling the push an “unstoppable uprising.”
In their own statements, employees at the four New York City stores cited COVID-19 pandemic-related shortages, “stagnant wages and benefits,” a lack of support from management and safety concerns as factors in their decision to move forward with the effort.
A Starbucks spokesperson on Thursday said the company is “listening and learning from the partners in these stores, as we always do across the country.”
“From the beginning, our belief has been that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed,” the spokesperson said. “Starbucks success — past, present, and future — is built on how we partner together, always with Our Mission and Values at our core.”
Rossann Williams, Starbucks’ executive vice president and president for North America, “has also shared with our partners that we respect their right to organize and will bargain in good faith,” the spokesperson added.
Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo voted 19-8 in favor of unionizing in December. The vote marked a first for the chain’s U.S. stores. And last month, a second store near Buffalo voted to unionize — a vote that the National Labor Relations Board confirmed.
The New York City stores filed for union recognition two days after Starbucks fired seven workers at a store in Memphis, Tennessee who were seeking to unionize, claiming the employees violated company policy in the course of their unionization efforts.