NEW ORLEANS – Workers at a Starbucks location in New Orleans voted to form a union, becoming the coffee giant’s first Louisiana locations to organize.
Ballots were cast 11-1 on Friday and Saturday in favor of joining Workers United, which represents unionized Starbucks stores. WWNO-FM reports. Two ballots were contested, the station said.
The New Orleans vote is the latest a series of wins for workers in Starbucks stores across the country and comes about a week after workers in Birmingham, Alabama, voted 27-1 to become that state first unionized Starbucks.
Barista Caitlyn Pierce and others wanted to unionize over regular shifts that left them overworked and understaffed, the channel reported.
“I feel great,” Pierce said. “We’ve worked so hard for this and it’s just great to finally get here.”
Starbucks has fought unionization efforts, saying its 9,000 company-owned US stores function best when Starbucks works directly with employees the company calls “partners.”
In a statement Sunday, Starbucks said it was “listening and learning,” adding, “We respect our partner’s right to organize.” The statement didn’t say if the company would contest the vote.
Billie Nyx, the lead organizer of the union campaign, was fired in mid-May for closing the store early without the permission of senior management. Nyx challenged the dismissal, saying it was in retaliation for union representation.
Nyx said they will meet with their attorney and gather those still working in the business to flesh out specific demands for the contract negotiations.
To achieve the changes they want — like better pay and more reliable schedules — unionized stores still need to sit down with Starbucks and negotiate a contract. It is a tedious process that can take years.
A Starbucks in Buffalo, New York became the first in the United States to unionize At the end of last year. Based in Seattle, the company has more than 34,000 stores worldwide.
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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/06/05/new-orleans-starbucks-store-1st-in-louisiana-to-vote-union/ Starbucks store in New Orleans becomes first in Louisiana to vote for union