2 California Starbucks stores vote to unionize, first in state

Two Starbucks stores in Santa Cruz, California, voted to unionize, becoming the first two Starbucks store in California to do so. A third Santa Cruz store will vote to unionize in June. | VideoPlayer | Santa Cruz Starbucks unionization push follows national trend of increased union approvalBy a vote of 15 to two the Starbucks store located at Mission and Dufour Street has voted to unionize. A second Starbucks located on Ocean and Water Street voted 13 to one to unionize. These are the first two stores in the state to do so, and among the first 50 in the country. At least 51% of the store’s employees needed to vote in favor of the union for official recognition. Union organizer Joseph Thompson for the Ocean and Water Street store told KSBW in January that the Santa Cruz store isn’t doing enough to protect its employees, claiming the location can be dangerous and experiences high rates of harassment and other hazardous situations. Employees at a third Starbucks store are also voting to unionize. Their results will be known in early June. Starbucks issued this statement after the vote: “We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed. We respect our partner’s right to organize and are committed to following the NLRB process.” Nation Wide TrendMore than 230 Starbucks stores across the country have filed petitions to unionize and about 50 have voted to join, according to an NPR report on May 3. A recent Gallup Poll found that 77% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 support labor unions. That contributes to an overall 68% approval rating among the American public, the highest approval rating in over half a century. In 1965 approval ratings measured at 71%.“Young people are energetic,” Steven McKay, a sociologist professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said. Despite high public approval, union membership has remained stagnant the past couple of years but has historically been declining since 1983, when 20% of Americans belonged to a union. Today 10% of Americans are in a union. “The way work has been organized … has made it specifically difficult to join a union. So I’m not surprised that the attitude is high and going up,” McKay said. How Unionization Works According to the National Labor Relations Board, workers can initiate the process to unionize if they meet the minimum requirement: at least 30% of employees have signed cards or a petition saying they want a union.Afterward, the NLRB will conduct an election.At least 51% of the store’s employees need to vote in favor of the union for official recognition.Starbucks Response Starbucks sent the following statement to KSBW 8 in January following the initial unionization vote in Santa Cruz. “Employees nationwide have recently received multiple wage increases. In December 2020, Starbucks increased starting wages by 5% and then gave a 10% raise to all baristas and supervisors. Tenured employees received an 11% raise.By Summer 2022, US hourly employees will be paid an average of $17 per hour.Company protocol dictates that employee schedules are set three weeks in advance, a Starbucks spokesperson said.Starbucks stores can implement a security guard if the situation calls for it, a spokesperson for the coffee giant said. According to the New York Times, the Starbucks union says that the company is cutting hours across the country in an attempt to have longtime employees quit the company. In other instances they have fired pro-union employees while siting safety and security policies.

Two Starbucks stores in Santa Cruz, California, voted to unionize, becoming the first two Starbucks store in California to do so. A third Santa Cruz store will vote to unionize in June.

| VideoPlayer | Santa Cruz Starbucks unionization push follows national trend of increased union approval

By a vote of 15 to two the Starbucks store located at Mission and Dufour Street has voted to unionize. A second Starbucks located on Ocean and Water Street voted 13 to one to unionize. These are the first two stores in the state to do so, and among the first 50 in the country.

At least 51% of the store’s employees needed to vote in favor of the union for official recognition.

Union organizer Joseph Thompson for the Ocean and Water Street store told KSBW in January that the Santa Cruz store isn’t doing enough to protect its employees, claiming the location can be dangerous and experiences high rates of harassment and other hazardous situations.

Employees at a third Starbucks store are also voting to unionize. Their results will be known in early June.

Starbucks issued this statement after the vote:

“We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed. We respect our partner’s right to organize and are committed to following the NLRB process.”

Nation Wide Trend

More than 230 Starbucks stores across the country have filed petitions to unionize and about 50 have voted to join, according to an NPR report on May 3.

A recent Gallup Poll found that 77% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 support labor unions. That contributes to an overall 68% approval rating among the American public, the highest approval rating in over half a century. In 1965 approval ratings measured at 71%.

“Young people are energetic,” Steven McKay, a sociologist professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said.

Despite high public approval, union membership has remained stagnant the past couple of years but has historically been declining since 1983, when 20% of Americans belonged to a union. Today 10% of Americans are in a union.

“The way work has been organized… has made it specifically difficult to join a union. So I’m not surprised that the attitude is high and going up,” McKay said.

How Unionization Works

According to the National Labor Relations Board, workers can initiate the process to unionize if they meet the minimum requirement: at least 30% of employees have signed cards or a petition saying they want a union.

Afterward, the NLRB will conduct an election. At least 51% of the store’s employees need to vote in favor of the union for official recognition.

Starbucks Response

Starbucks sent the following statement to KSBW 8 in January following the initial unionization vote in Santa Cruz.

“Employees nationwide have recently received multiple wage increases. In December 2020, Starbucks increased starting wages by 5% and then gave a 10% raise to all baristas and supervisors. Tenured employees received an 11% raise.

By Summer 2022, US hourly employees will be paid an average of $17 per hour.

Company protocol dictates that employee schedules are set three weeks in advance, a Starbucks spokesperson said.

Starbucks stores can implement a security guard if the situation calls for it, a spokesperson for the coffee giant said.

According to the New York Times, the Starbucks union says that the company is cutting hours across the country in an attempt to have longtime employees quit the company. In other instances they have fired pro-union employees while siting safety and security policies.

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