A Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York, became the second store in the country to unionize on Monday, as others across the United States follow his lead.
The vote to unionize was announced by the National Labor Relations Board, and the world’s largest coffee chain now has 10 days to appeal the decision. The store is in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga, and employees at that store applauded the decision to unionize.
“While most of the world saw us win on December 9th, today is a special day – today we ended Starbucks’ delay efforts and formed our union [Cheektowaga] Starbucks,” said Cheektowaga shift supervisor Lexi Rizzo. “After all, partners feel like we have a voice at our workplace — it’s an emotional day for all the partners who have worked so hard to make our voices heard in our work.” “
“Now we are asking the same thing Elmwood is asking – we want a fair contract and most importantly, we demand that Starbucks immediately close its union in Buffalo and across the country.”
The “Elmwood” that Rizzo referred to refers to another Buffalo-area Starbucks, which became the first of the chain’s nearly 9,000 stores nationwide to unionize on December 9. The workers in that place, having been unionized, went on strike in early January. What employees said amid “unsafe” conditions due to COVID-19.
The Elmwood unionization came after the Board of Labor met with employees amid a challenge on the ballots to uphold a 15-9 decision that the store could form a union.
After the Elmwood store was unionized, Starbucks issued a statement saying that “we strongly believe that every participant in a district or market should have the opportunity to vote on such an important decision.”
The coffee giant continued, “We will continue to find new and better ways to get ahead on wages and benefits, improve our listening and proactive partnerships, and build a company that matters.”
However, Rizzo echoed a different sentiment, saying that “no other partner should have to endure whatever we had to do to have a voice at work.”
In addition to expressing concerns over COVID-19, Starbucks employees are also demanding fair wages, including the implementation of sick pay and separation pay.
As the urge to unionize at Starbucks continues to spread, several other stores across the country have expressed interest in forming similar conglomerates.
WIBV-TV reported that at least “three other Buffalo-area locations are also seeking unionization, but have not yet voted.”
In addition, Starbucks stores in other states have also taken steps to unionize.
According to local news outlets, two stores in the Boston, Massachusetts, suburbs began looking to unionize after Elmwood’s decision that at least 36 out of 47 employees indicated they were pro-union.
Additionally, a Cleveland, Ohio-area store released a statement Monday in which it said it was seeking a unionization effort, with the store stating that “we believe [a union] It is the most meaningful and effective way to ensure that our voices are heard and those voices are used to contribute to our partnership with the Company.”
Starbucks spokesperson told newsweek That “Our position hasn’t changed: Starbucks’ success—past, present and future—is built on how we have always partnered with our mission and values. From the very beginning, we have been clear in our belief that we We are better together as partners, without any union, and this belief has not changed.
“The results of the vote will not change our shared purpose or how we show up for each other … We will keep listening, we will keep connecting and we will continue to serve each other.”