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Union vote for Arizona Starbucks location to be tallied Wednesday

Starbucks Union
Posted at 10:54 AM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 11:18:09-05

Starbucks workers at a Mesa, Arizona store will learn Wednesday whether they have enough support among their colleagues to form a labor union.

The Mesa store is the fourth Starbucks location is to hold a union vote and the first to vote since late last year. Starbucks Workers United, a group that advocates for Starbucks workers seeking unionization, said the results of that vote would be announced at 1 p.m. local time.

According to CNN, the 43 workers at the Mesa location were recently sent ballots by the National Labor Relations board after employees filed signed cards requesting to organize.

Wednesday's tally represents the spread of unionization efforts that began in Buffalo, New York, late last year.

In December, workers at three Starbucks locations in and around Buffalo held union votes. One store voted to unionize. A vote by a second store was eventually found to have gone in favor of the union after challenges from both Starbucks and the union. The third store voted against unionization, though workers are currently challenging the results.

Starbucks Workers United now says 96 stores across the country have formally filed petitions to hold unionization votes. Starbucks employees, which the company calls "partners," are seeking pay rates that rise with inflation, better COVID-19 protections and lower costs for company benefits.

Wednesday's tally also comes about a week after seven partners at Memphis Starbucks said they were fired for leading unionization efforts. Starbucks claims they were fired for allowing customers into the store after it had been closed, though the workers said they were simply in the coffeehouse to conduct interviews with local media.

According to Gallup's most recent survey from September, approval of labor unions reached its highest point since 1965, with young adults ages 18 to 34 approving of unions at a rate of 77%.