Historic Starbucks Union Campaign Comes to NYC and LI
On Thursday, five downstate New York Starbucks shops in four locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island filed for union recognition with Workers United NY/NJ Regional Joint Board, an SEIU affiliate, bringing the total number of Starbucks union petitions filed nationally to 72 across 21 states, with 16 shops in NYS alone. These are the first shops to file in the NYC and Metro region and include the Roastery, the largest Starbucks on the East Coast, as well as the first manufacturing plant to file. If successful, approximately 170 workers will gain union representation.
The Campaign, started by Starbucks partners in Buffalo, NY in September, has quickly gained momentum throughout the country with new states and locations joining every week. But it has not been without pushback. Workers have faced increasing retaliation and intimidation in their efforts to unionize, including this week's egregious firing of the entire organizing committee in a Memphis shop. The Memphis campaign had gone public on MLK day in honor of his work on labor rights in their city which led to his assassination.
This retaliation has only encouraged more worker organizing and greater public awareness of union-busting. The downstate NY campaign has already received widespread support from elected officials, with 76 signatories on a public letter taking a stand against union busting and in favor of workers' rights at the company. Read more in the New York Times and Bloomberg News, and follow the SB Workers Union on Twitter!