AP

Seattle Starbucks unionizes in coffee giant’s home city

Mar 22, 2022, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:27 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — Baristas and other employees at a Seattle Starbucks have voted to unionize, the first such vote in the city where Starbucks originated and the latest in a nationwide push to organize the coffee shop chain.

The unanimous vote announced Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board is also an especially symbolic win as Howard Schultz returns as interim chief executive officer, The Seattle Times reported.

The store in the Capitol Hill neighborhood will become the seventh in the country where employees have voted in favor of unionizing with Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. At least 140 more stores in 27 states have filed petitions for union elections.

Starbucks announced March 16 that CEO Kevin Johnson was retiring. The company picked former longtime CEO Schultz as interim leader until it finds a permanent replacement by this fall. In his previous time with the company, the 68-year-old Schultz successfully fought attempts to unionize Starbucks’ U.S. stores and roasting plants.

In a November letter to employees, posted just before the first unionization votes at three stores in Buffalo, New York, Schultz said he tried to create the kind of company that his blue-collar father never had the chance to work for.

He recalled the “traumatic moment” his family had no income after his father suffered a workplace injury, and said that’s why Starbucks has benefits like health care, free college tuition, parental leave and stock grants for employees.

Starbucks has had to reinstate fired workers or pay to settle labor law violations numerous times in the early 2000s.

Last year, the national labor board found that Starbucks unlawfully retaliated against two Philadelphia baristas who were trying to unionize. The board said Starbucks monitored the employees’ social media, unlawfully spied on their conversations and then fired them. It ordered Starbucks to stop interfering with workers’ right to organize and offer reinstatement to the two workers.

Last week, the board issued a complaint against Starbucks alleging that district and store managers in Phoenix spied on and threatened workers who supported unionizing. The complaint says Starbucks suspended one union supporter and fired another.

Sydney Durkin, who works at the Seattle store, told the newspaper that in the past these may have been jobs people only stayed in for a few years, but increasingly they are becoming people’s livelihood.

“This is a signal for the larger food industry that it is changing and it is building toward something hopefully more sustainable,” Durkin said.

“We will respect the process and will bargain in good faith … We hope that the union does the same,” a Starbucks company spokesperson said in a statement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

4 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

7 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

7 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

8 days ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump helps serve food to Texas Natio...

Associated Press

Trump receives endorsement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a visit to a US-Mexico border town

Donald Trump picked up the Texas governor’s endorsement Sunday during a visit to a U.S.-Mexico border town.

10 days ago

Eric Trump, executive vice president of Trump Organization Inc., speaks to the media as he leaves f...

Associated Press

Lawyers in Trump’s civil fraud trial are ordered to clam up about judge’s communications with staff

Eric Trump testified Friday that he was relying on accountants to ensure the accuracy of financial statements.

26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

...

Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.

Seattle Starbucks unionizes in coffee giant’s home city