Starbucks says it will negotiate with workers in Buffalo, New York

Members react during a Starbucks union vote in Buffalo, New York, U.S., December 9, 2021.

Lindsay DeDario | Reuters

Starbucks The company said Monday, days after an employee vote to form the first certified US coffee chain’s union.

In a letter to all US partners, Rossann Williams, Starbucks EVP North America, said that despite the company’s belief that it did not want an alliance “between us as partners” unchanged, but it will respect the legal process.

“This means we will negotiate in good faith with the union representing the partners in a Buffalo store that voted in favor of union representation. We hope that union representatives also come to the table with mutual goodwill, respect, and positive intentions,” Williams wrote.

Earlier this month, workers at Elmwood the location voted in favor of the union, the company’s first since it went public decades ago. A second store vote at a nearby cafe leaned in favor of Starbucks, while the outcome of a third vote was undetermined that day because both sides questioned the decision. counting. Last week, the official union challenge results at two stores.

The push for unification is also spreading across the country. Baristas at two cafes in Boston apply for union election last weekend. More stores in Buffalo and Mesa, Arizona are also looking to organize with Starbucks Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. The more successful the stores, the greater the collective bargaining power of workers with the coffee giant..It is not necessary for the two parties to agree to a contract.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson recently told CNBC’s Jim Cramer that he expected a handful of additional stores to merge.

The push for the alliance on a large scale has been met with strong opposition from Starbucks management. In Buffalo and Mesa, the company sent executives to locations organizers called “sabotage unions.” Starbucks has denied all allegations that it tried to intimidate workers. The company said that since it began the process, it believes the 20-store Buffalo market should have been allowed to vote. Starbucks says it will negotiate with workers in Buffalo, New York

Emma James

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