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Dec. 10, 2021, 8:43 a.m. EST

Starbucks Workers In Buffalo, N.Y. Vote To Unionize

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Dec 10, 2021 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Starbucks /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX +2.98% workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize, a first for the 50-year-old coffee retailer in the U.S. and the latest sign that the labour movement is growing after decades of decline.

The (U.S.) National Labor Relations Board said that workers voted 19-8 in favor of a union at the Elmwood Avenue location, one of three stores in Buffalo where elections were being held. A second store rejected the union in a vote of 12-8, but the union said it might challenge that result because it wasn't confident all of the eligible votes had been counted.

The results of a third store could not be determined because both sides challenged seven separate votes.

Starbucks and Workers United, the union vying to represent the workers, have five business days to submit their objections to the election results, the labour board said. If objections are filed, there could be a series of hearings and appeals that delay certification of the votes. If no objections are filed, the results could be certified as early as December 16.

If the labour board certifies the results and one or more of the stores unionizes, they would be the first Starbucks-owned stores in the U.S. to be represented by a union. The company has actively fought unionization at its stores for decades, saying its stores function best when it works directly with employees.

The election comes at a time of heightened labour unrest in the U.S. Striking cereal workers at Kellogg Co. /zigman2/quotes/209631250/composite K -0.10% rejected a new contract offer earlier this week. Thousands of workers were on strike at Deere & Co. /zigman2/quotes/207941296/composite DE +3.80% earlier this fall. And the U.S. labour board recently approved a redo of a union vote at an Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +3.66% warehouse in Alabama after finding the company pressured workers to vote against the union.

Union backers at the three Buffalo stores that held elections say Starbucks had chronic problems such as understaffing and faulty equipment even before the pandemic. They want more input on pay and store operations.

Starbucks insists its more than 8,000 company-owned U.S. stores function best when it works directly with its employees, which it calls "partners." Many employees in the Buffalo area work at more than one store depending on demand, Starbucks says, and it wants to have the flexibility to move them between stores.

In a letter to Starbucks' U.S. employees this week, Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson reminded them of the company's generous benefits, including paid parental and sick leave and free college tuition through Arizona State University.

Starbucks has also announced pay increases, saying all its U.S. workers will earn at least $15 U.S. -- and up to $23 U.S. -- per hour by next summer.

COMTEX_398673727/2559/2021-12-10T08:42:35

Is there a problem with this press release? Contact the source provider Comtex at editorial@comtex.com. You can also contact MarketWatch Customer Service via our Customer Center.

/zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 76.71
+2.22 +2.98%
Volume: 8.50M
May 27, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.53
Dividend Yield
2.56%
Market Cap
$85.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
$81,783
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/zigman2/quotes/209631250/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 69.81
-0.07 -0.10%
Volume: 2.51M
May 27, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.53
Dividend Yield
3.32%
Market Cap
$23.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
$460,323
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/zigman2/quotes/207941296/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 360.73
+13.22 +3.80%
Volume: 1.97M
May 27, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.82
Dividend Yield
1.25%
Market Cap
$106.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
$605,450
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/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2,302.93
+81.38 +3.66%
Volume: 4.68M
May 27, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
55.54
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1130.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$297,107
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