Workers at Starbucks’ flagship Seattle roasting operation vote to unionize in blow to CEO Schultz

Starbucks workers at the coffee giant’s flagship roastery in Seattle voted Thursday to form a union, the chain’s latest location to form a collective bargaining unit against the wishes of CEO Howard Schultz.

The Seattle store voted 38-27 to unionize. Workers United said 26 Starbucks locations have unionized nationwide.

The Starbucks Reserve and Roastery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the business’ second to unionize in its hometown of Seattle.

‘As we have said throughout, we will respect the process and will bargain in good faith. We hope that the union does the same, ‘Reggie Borges, a spokesman for Starbucks, said in a statement.

Starbucks has multiple flagship stores. The Seattle outlet joined the one in New York in forming a union.

Starbucks workers at the coffee giant’s flagship roastery in Seattle voted Thursday to form a union, the chain’s latest location to form a collective bargaining unit

The Starbucks Reserve and Roastery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the business' second to unionize in its hometown of Seattle

The Starbucks Reserve and Roastery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the business’ second to unionize in its hometown of Seattle

The news came as a leaked video posted by the account 'More Perfect Union' showed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on a call with managers slamming the unionization efforts

The news came as a leaked video posted by the account ‘More Perfect Union’ showed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on a call with managers slamming the unionization efforts

‘A big part of it is just that we don’t have a seat at the table, we don’t have a voice in our workplace,’ said Liz Duran, an operations lead at Starbucks. ‘People have been pushed to the edge more and more and more throughout recent years, and with the breaking point being over, the COVID pandemic really just bringing workers to a point where you realize the power that we really do have.’

The news came as a leaked video posted by the outlet ‘More Perfect Union’ showed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on a call with managers slamming the unionization efforts, which he called ‘a new, outside force that’s trying desperately to disrupt our company.’

Rossann Williams, Starbucks’ president for North America, told managers it is’ your number one responsibility ‘to get store employees to vote no.

This campaign also comes on the heels of corporate union drives at Amazon, Apple and at other Starbucks locations.

More than 100 Starbucks stores have announced their aspirations to follow suit amid the wave of activism.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a former presidential candidate, himself is planning two events on Sunday, one to rally with workers at the Staten Island Amazon and the other at the Richmond, Virginia Starbucks.

Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, is calling the pair of events ‘Solidarity Sunday’ and promoted it in a tweet.

‘From Amazon warehouses to Starbucks locations across the country, there is a common thread: a working class sick of being exploited while corporations rake in record profits,’ he wrote. ‘I look forward to joining Amazon workers in New York and Starbucks workers in Virginia this Sunday.’

Senator Bernie Sanders, a former presidential candidate, himself is planning two events on Sunday, one to rally with workers at the Staten Island Amazon and the other at the Richmond, Virginia Starbucks

Senator Bernie Sanders, a former presidential candidate, himself is planning two events on Sunday, one to rally with workers at the Staten Island Amazon and the other at the Richmond, Virginia Starbucks

Workers at an Apple Inc store in Atlanta filed a petition on Wednesday to hold a union election, seeking to become the company’s first US store to unionize amid a wave of labor activity at other major firms.

The effort at the Apple store in Cumberland Mall is backed by the Communications Workers of America, according to a news release issued by the union and involved workers.

More than 70 percent of the 107 workers eligible to join the union – in sales, technical, creative and operations roles – signed cards expressing a desire to organize, the union said.

A spokesperson for the US National Labor Relations Board confirmed that the agency’s Atlanta office received the union petition on Wednesday.

If certain conditions are met, the NLRB works with the union and the employer to arrange an election.

Sydney Rhodes (second from left) and other employees at Apple's Cumberland Mall location in Atlanta are pictured together.  Seventy percent of the store's 107 employees expressed a desire to launch a union at the location, which would be the first among Apple's 272 US stores

Sydney Rhodes (second from left) and other employees at Apple’s Cumberland Mall location in Atlanta are pictured together. Seventy percent of the store’s 107 employees expressed a desire to launch a union at the location, which would be the first among Apple’s 272 US stores

The effort at the Apple store in Cumberland Mall (pictured) is backed by the Communications Workers of America, according to a news release issued by the union and workers involved in the effort

The effort at the Apple store in Cumberland Mall (pictured) is backed by the Communications Workers of America, according to a news release issued by the union and workers involved in the effort

‘We work hard at Apple because we really believe in the products and the company and we want to make sure that every Apple worker is able to afford quality housing and basic living expenses,’ Elli Daniels, an Apple worker who is part of the union effort, said in a statement.

Only 6.3 percent of private sector workers belong to unions in 2020, according to US Labor Department statistics. Private sector union membership declined by 428,000 in 2020 from the year before.

The move serves as the latest in a wave of unionization efforts in a labor landscape drastically changed by the pandemic, as workers taking advantage of a demand for manpower seek better wages, benefits, working conditions, and shorter working hours.

Earlier this month, Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island voted to unionize in a historical vote that saw the first labor union with the e-commerce giant, despite fierce pushback by Amazon brass.

A vote at a second Staten Island Amazon site is scheduled for later in April.

On April 1, employees at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 voted 2,654 to 2,131 in support of the Amazon Labor Union, according to a count by the National Labor Relations Board

On April 1, employees at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 voted 2,654 to 2,131 in support of the Amazon Labor Union, according to a count by the National Labor Relations Board

Chris Smalls, (pictured) a warehouse employee who was fired by the online retail giant, led the unionization efforts

Chris Smalls, (pictured) a warehouse employee who was fired by the online retail giant, led the unionization efforts

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