May 22, 2024 - News

Tampa Starbucks staff speak out after union vote

Illustration of the Starbucks siren holding up a fist.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Starbucks workers in Tampa voted to unionize last week, joining more than 400 U.S. stores in demanding fairer wages, scheduling, staffing and healthcare.

Why it matters: While those issues are being debated in contract negotiations with the national union, it's a tumultuous time for the coffee giant.

The big picture: A stock plummet at the beginning of May was attributed to stores struggling to keep up with the morning rush.

Zoom in: The Dale Mabry Highway & West Linebaugh Avenue store is the eighth Starbucks to unionize in Florida since 2022 — and the first in Tampa Bay. A Bradenton location voted against unionizing last year.

What they're saying: "We fought for this union because my coworkers and I were sick and tired of having no say in the workplace that we run," Barista Blake Smallen told Axios in a statement.

  • "We are excited to join fellow partners from across the country in negotiating a foundational framework with Starbucks."

What's ahead: Workers will meet with the company for a second time later this month to continue bargaining, a union representative told Axios.


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