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Starbucks Union Reaches Milestone and Notches Eighth Victory

Last week a second Mesa, Arizona, Starbucks unionized and the 150th Starbucks union petition was filed.  With the Mesa win, the union organizing Starbucks, Workers United, added its eighth store to the list of unionized Starbucks.  The employees at the Mesa location voted to join Workers United with a commanding vote of 11 to 3.  The union win brings the current tally to five stores in Buffalo, two in Mesa and one in Seattle, where the union earlier in the week had won with a vote, 9-0.  The Seattle win is especially painful for Starbucks as Seattle is where the mega-multinational got its start.

Today, Starbucks has approximately 9,000 corporate-owned stores in the US, of which 150 in 27 states have petitioned for elections with the NLRB.  While 150 may look small and inconsequential when compared to 9,000, it should cause retailers and QSR’s specifically grave concern.  The speed at which all of this is taking place is unprecedented.  At the beginning of December, Starbucks had just three pending union petitions, all in Buffalo, NY; four months later look where we are.  And this could be just the tip of the iceberg!   

Not surprisingly, Starbucks has resisted organizing efforts and has worked feverishly to try to dissuade its workers from voting for the union.

Labor activists hope the success at Starbucks will serve as a breakthrough for the union in the quick serve sector, and act as a blueprint for others to follow.  They also hope this is finally the resurgence of unions, which have been losing their grip on the working population since the 1950’s!

Brody and Associates has worked with quick serve restaurants for years helping them map out winning strategies to remain issue free and thus defeat union activity by making them unnecessary.  If you feel your store is at risk, don’t hesitate to call.  We are here to help.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest local, state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.