The months-long efforts to unionize by three Starbucks locations in upstate New York comes to a head this week, with today’s voting deadline and the official count taking place tomorrow, December 9th. If successful, they will be the first company-owned locations in the United States to successfully unionize.
The unionizing efforts for the three Buffalo locations has not been without difficulty. Starbucks Workers United has alleged the company has taken part in “union busting” efforts, including sending “top executives and former CEO Howard Schultz” to Buffalo in an attempt to convince workers to vote against the union. The company also filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board to “impound the ballots already cast” and “stop the vote entirely,” which was denied by the NLRB on Tuesday.
The high-profile union efforts have drawn the attention of national political figures, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Sen. Sanders even met recently with four of the Starbucks workers trying to unionize, calling their efforts “inspiring”.
A total of around 100 Buffalo Starbucks employees are eligible to cast a ballot, and if the majority vote in favor of unionizing, they will succeed where locations in New York City and Philadelphia have failed and become the first union for any Starbucks-owned locations in the United States; one location in Canada voted to unionize and had their contract ratified over the summer.
The votes will be counted Thursday afternoon.
This story is developing…