Starbucks workers in Buffalo, New York are aiming to unionize
Employees at three Starbucks locations in Buffalo, N.Y., have filed petitions for a union vote, The New York Times reports. For years, the coffee behemoth has billed itself as a progressive and pro-worker corporation, offering its staff better-than-average benefits like part-time worker health-care insurance and free online college tuition. But employees have been frustrated with issues such as understaffing and difficulty taking sick days, which have only worsened during the pandemic, and see the labor shortage as the perfect opportunity for a union campaign. They aren’t alone in such strategizing: Union organizers have made inroads throughout the coffee shop industry, particularly over the past 18 months, with successful union drives at the Wisconsin-based Colectivo Coffee, Buffalo locations of SPoT Coffee, and Boston-area Pavement Coffeehouse, among others. If successful, the Starbucks elections would make these locations the only unionized corporate-owned stores out of the company’s more than 8,000.