Dec 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Starbucks workers at Buffalo store vote to unionize


Starbucks. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York overwhelmingly voted in favor of forming a union, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirmed Thursday.

Why it matters: The push to unionize was largely fueled by staffing shortages and poor working conditions exacerbated during the pandemic, per CNBC. None of the coffee giant's U.S. company-owned stores were unionized before the vote.

  • Workers at the Elmwood Avenue location voted 19-8 to form the union, an NLRB spokesperson told Axios.
  • The union effort faced strong opposition from Starbucks management, according to the New York Times. Several top executives were sent to Buffalo locations ahead of the vote.

Worth noting: The union effort at another Buffalo-area Starbucks store fell through Thursday, with the NLRB telling Axios that employees voted 12-8 against forming a union.

  • The agency has yet to confirm the results of another union vote at a third Buffalo store.
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