Organizers Herald 100th Win as Starbucks Unionization Wave Continues

Jerri-Lynn here. Nice to see that the Starbucks unionization wave continues. At the moment, as regular readers are well aware, there’s precious little good news to report. That workers are organizing`is one of the few positive developments. May the Starbucks wave continue, and spread to other parts of the economy. Maybe to Amazon? And perhaps beyond.

By Andrea Germanos. Originally published at Common Dreams

The tally of unionized Starbucks locations is continuing to swell, with the latest additions coming after pro-unionization votes late last week in Seattle and Birmingham, Alabama.

The coffee giant’s CEO “Howard Schultz and Starbucks are getting creamed in union vote after union vote,” labor journalist Steven Greenhouse tweetedSaturday.

By the union’s count, there are now 100 stores across the nation that have unionized.

The milestone was achieved after successful votes Friday at two stores in Seattle.

The Eastlake store employees won their effort to collectively bargain in a landslide 12-0 vote, while the Union Station store voted 6-3 in favor, local KOMO News reported.

A day earlier, the store on Birmingham’s 20th Street South became Alabama’s first Starbucks to back unionization after a 27-1 vote Thursday.

Kadarius Perkin, a shift supervisor at that store, declared after the vote, “Our voices will be heard,” according to

“Starbucks has until later this week to file any objections with the National Labor Relations Board,” The Associated Press reported Sunday.

Workers at hundreds of Starbucks stores have filed to unionize since the first successful union drive in Buffalo, New York late last year.

According to Matt Bruenig, founder of People’s Policy Project, “a trickle of election filings” that started last year “has built to a wave—and Starbucks workers are winning in location after location.”

Bruenig analyzed data from the National Labor Relations Board, writing in an op-ed published last week at Jacobin that out of 89 union elections that had taken place at Starbucks, the union prevailed in 77 locations—87%—of them.

Those wins, he noted, came despite “a fierce campaign against the union, prompting a torrent of unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against the company.”

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  1. Louis Fyne

    the local school district renewed their teachers’ contract….with pay increases at 3% annually for the term of the contract.

    intermediate-term Inflation expectations still are not baked into people and/or the teachers’ had innumeracy negotiators.

    ironically, Starbucks union organizers can thank Biden-Jerry Powell for helping them. Presuming that 8%+ inflation is hitting the baristas hard, tips are down, and made fence-sitters open to unionization.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Most districts I see are offering in the 2-3% range, and they think it’s a gift.

      Meanwhile the town’s coffers are engorged by rising property taxes. My town’s revenues are up 10%.

      But the teachers have to be left further and further behind economically, because they can be.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I can hear my public school teacher mother saying, “A 3% raise? Whoopee. My health insurance just went up by 6%.”

  2. haywood

    This continues to be amazing and I don’t see any reason Starbucks organizing will slow down in the near future. Maybe if Starbucks holds out on a first contract and forces the coffee shops to strike one by one over and over, frustration and resignation might set in but I don’t know if even that can stop decentralized organizing momentum like this. Inspiring stuff.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Gotta keep things in context however. Long way to go yet-

    ‘Globally famous coffeehouse chain, Starbucks, accounted for 8,947 company-operated and 6,497 licensed stores in the United States in 2021. The amount of Starbucks stores has steadily increased over the past decade.’

    So in other words, it would best be to keep up this momentum and not slow down.

  4. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    My son’s store unionized in Eugene, Oregon a couple of weeks ago. He’s worried that Starbucks will find an excuse to fire him. And while he doesn’t love it there, he needs the job.

  5. BeliTsari

    Anything positive, empowering we the peons; improving the lives of party faithful, simply HAS to be crushed, co-opted & spun. “Our party” was SO terrified of the rank & file strikes, walk-outs of teachers, HCW, bar & restaurant workers… the party had locals crush anything that could amalgamate into a MASS strike. Stu Applebaum (AFL/ CIA economic hit-man) would BRAG about it, on Democrats Now! Real unions, community, “minority’ advocacy and religious groups are so locked into corrupt political & funding that I’d actually gotten up hope over precariate unionization.

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