Second Starbucks store near Buffalo votes to unionize
A second Starbucks store near Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize, one of several stores in the coffee chain seeking to unionize workers.
Workers at the store, on the outskirts of Cheektowaga, voted 15-9 in favor of representation by Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. The National Labor Relations Council confirmed the vote on Monday.
Starbucks is weighing its options and may appeal, a company spokesperson said. The company has 10 working days to file an appeal with the full labor commission. If the appeal is dismissed, he must negotiate with the union.
Last month, Starbucks employees voted to unionize employees at a downtown Buffalo store, making the store one of the first to unionize in Starbucks’ 50-year history. . But at the time, the outcome of union elections in two other stores in the region __ in Cheektowaga and Hamburg __ was unclear. Both the union and Starbucks have challenged the eligibility of some voters.
Union spokesman Richard Bensinger said on Monday that the labor board sided with the union and rejected the votes of six workers who had only worked briefly at the Cheektowaga site. Bensinger said the Hamburg store’s results remain undecided.
The union victory last month sparked a wave of interest in organizing at other Starbucks locations. Individual stores in Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee and Seattle, the hometown of Starbucks, have asked the labor council to hold union elections. Three more stores in Buffalo are also asking for union votes.
Starbucks has more than 8,000 stores in the United States
Starbucks says its stores work best when they work directly with employees, not through a third party. But the company said it would begin the negotiation process with the downtown Buffalo store.
“The results of the vote will not change our common purpose or the way we present ourselves to each other,” Starbucks executive vice president Rossann Williams said in a recent letter to employees.
Lexi Rizzo, shift supervisor at Cheektowaga store, said it was an emotional day for workers who have supported the union.
“Finally, the partners believe that we have a voice in our workplace,” she said in a statement released by Workers United.