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Keriss101 / Spoon

Buffalo Starbucks Workers Makes History

Employees at the Buffalo-area Starbucks joined together and fought to form a union, making it the first of 8,000+ corporate Starbucks locations in the US to unionize. The second Buffalo location voted against unionizing while the third got the majority vote for unionizing, but the results aren’t fine due to a problem with the individual ballots.

Workers at the three location filed petitions back in August to join a union because of the company chronic understaffing problems that have led to a chaotic and overwhelming work environment, terrible trainings for new staff, unfair wages, confusing and constantly changing hours and the difficulty with taking sick days and call outs. While Starbucks claimed to commit to revising these policies, the problems still lingers.

After the workers filed for a union, Starbucks said in a statement that was posted on their website and weekly newspapers, “We respect our partners’ right to organize but believe that they would not find it necessary given our pro-partner environment.”

The Starbucks workers fought for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Workers are usually discouraged from forming a union due to the risks, especially against big corporation, but the Buffalo pushed back.

Even with the many tactics Starbucks used to stop people from voting yes by pulling workers aside for one on one chats and flyers stating ‘Vote No’ in the back room.

Although it is a small number of workers, the result and work of the Buffalo employees is a celebration that will set a ball rolling for fellow Starbucks partners inspired to fight for better changes.

I am a journalism student at Florida International University who hopes to work for a major news site in New York or Washington, D.C. I hopes to use my passion for writing to provide a voice for the public.
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