Starbucks workers voted to form a union at three more stores in Buffalo. This is a significant victory for the union which is currently facing fierce resistance from the company.
Workers at the Sheridan & Bailey, French & Transit and Walden & Anderson stores are now unionized, voting 15 to 12, 15 to 12 and 8 to 7 in favor of the union, respectively. Six stores have voted for unionization, with five in Buffalo and one Mesa, Arizona. Only one location has voted against unionization in union elections so far.
“Our mission is to aid in making Starbucks the company that we all want it to be,” Rachel Cohen, a shift supervisor at Sheridan & Bailey, said. “We are ready to bring partners to the table, fill the empty set, and help one another. We can’t do what we want without one another. Moving forward together is our best chance at success.”
The vote count was conducted on Wednesday, after the workers’ votes were impounded by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in late February due to a legal challenge from Starbucks. The challenge – alleging that union elections should be held region-wide, rather than store-by-store — Eventually, it was rejectedNLRB, but it still managed to delay the count.
“Starbucks will imply they had nothing to do with this further delay in the voting process by vaguely gesturing towards the legal process. That is a farce,” Workers United attorney Ian Hayes said at the time. “This would not have happened without their strategic decision. This is exactly the result the Starbucks wanted, and the NLRB handed it to them today.”
Starbucks Workers United said that the workers won their union despite “unfair elections.” The three stores had filed their current petitions to unionize over four months ago, and Walden & Anderson had originally filed its petition in September of last year, but withdrew to prevent legal delays for the now-unionized Elmwood location.
The vote for Walden & Anderson was close, partially because Starbucks had closedWorkers claim that the workers were organizing in the same store as other stores in Buffalo at the time. The store was made into a training site, and workers were sent separately.
“Starbucks closed our store for two months in the middle of our organizing campaign. They added 20 new partners to our store, so that more than half our staff wasn’t there to experience what conditions were like before we unionized,” said Walden & Anderson barista Colin Cochran.
Workers claimed that the company was not fair. only added the workersto reduce support for the union at the shop. This union-busting tactic backfiredOn the company, however as pro-union employees convinced new workers that they would support the union
“They upended our store in every way, scared and divided partners, and demonized those of us who believe we deserve better,” Cochran continued. “And we still won.”
As the union drive has escalated, so has the company’s anti-union campaign. Workers have filed for elections to the union. in 130 storesIn just the last few months, and There are 21 moreElections are scheduled for the next weeks. The company will likely not be able to send its executives as often to unionizing stores to intimidate workers, as it was able to do when there were only a few.
Instead, the company is making bold moves such as Fire union organizersCoercing workers to attend anti-union meetings — The union moves It has been alleged are illegal. The union filed 20 complaints to the NLRB last week alleging that the company violated labor laws during its union-busting campaign.