Nearly 100 Starbucks locations nationwide join effort to unionize
FOX Business Headlines 2/16
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Nearly 100 Starbucks locations around the nation have joined the Starbucks Workers United movement and are pushing to form a union.
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As of Wednesday, 97 locations in 26 states had filed for a petition to unionize, according to Starbucks Workers United, which has been seeking to organize a union with workers around the country.
In December, a Starbucks store in downtown Buffalo, New York, became the first to unionize in Starbucks’ 50-year history.
After the vote, the company said it respected the legal process and promised to come to the negotiating table with union employees at its Elmwood Village location in Buffalo "in good faith," but the victory set off a wave of interest in unionization at other Starbucks locations.
STARBUCKS ACCUSED OF 'UNION-BUSTING' AFTER FIRING SEVERAL WORKERS IN MEMPHIS
The movement intensified after several workers in Memphis claimed they were fired earlier this month for their unionizing efforts. The employees are accusing the company of "union-busting" and vowing to file a complaint with the labor board, while Starbucks says the decision had nothing to do with media attention or the fact that the workers were seeking representation. Instead, the company said it had to do with violations related to opening and closing procedures.
"Memphis workers are calling on partners around the country to support them by organizing more stores across the nation. We are organizing Starbucks partners coast to coast to stand united," the union tweeted.
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According to U.S. labor board filings, over 20 locations have filed to unionize within the past two weeks alone.
"I believe that we should have the right to feel safe and appreciated in our jobs. This movement will make sure of that," Zaniel Aguirre, barista at a shop in Oklahoma told the Starbucks Workers United.
Starbucks previously told FOX Business that its position on unionizing hasn't wavered.
"Starbucks success—past, present, and future—is built on how we partner together, always with Our Mission and Values at our core," the company said in a statement last month.
However, in order to hold an official union election under the supervision of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, unions need to garner support from at least 30% of workers who are eligible to vote, according to the labor board's policies.
After a location files a petition with the labor board, officials work to confirm that it has met the showing of interest in order to proceed.
FOX Business' Breck Dumas contributed to this report.
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