Young Starbucks Baristas Are Flexing Their Collective Power In Recent Fights To Unionize Across The US

  • After getting their first win late last year, two Starbucks company-owned stores have now formally organized following the December hearing with the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Now, over 30 company-owned stores across the US have filed for union elections at Starbucks, and it’s beginning to look like a fight that could be a warning of things to come for the broader restaurant industry.
  • “This is a generational uprising. I think young people are rediscovering unions as the way to have a voice into the job and lift up their wages and benefits,” Richard Bensinger, a union organizer with Starbucks Workers United explained. 
  • “I do think, right now, this is the canary in the coal mine for the union and for the industry,” a research analyst from MKM Partners warned.

Kate Rogers and Amelia Lucas from CNBC write:

“From coast to coast, young Starbucks baristas are pushing to unionize their cafes, flexing their collective power against the coffee giant in a fight that could change the broader restaurant industry and its workforce.

After notching a first win late last year, two Starbucks company-owned stores have formally organized after a December vote and hearing before the National Labor Relations Board. To date, more than 30 company-owned stores from Massachusetts to Tennessee and Arizona have filed for union elections at Starbucks, according to a CNBC analysis of NLRB filings. An industry-wide labor crunch and the high-profile union push from Starbucks workers could mean more chains see their employees follow suit.

“I do think, right now, this is the canary in the coal mine for the union and for the industry,” said MKM Partners analyst Brett Levy.

The petitions to organize have come faster than even those involved first believed possible, according to Richard Bensinger, union organizer with Starbucks Workers United and a former organizing director of the AFL-CIO. But with the group organizing via single-store units, some say the push could take years before reaching critical mass for the coffee giant…

See full story here.



Categories: Business, Economy, Government, Labor, Politics, Society

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