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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Astoria Starbucks workers want to unionize to join the trend

Astoria, Queens – Astoria Starbucks shop workers have applied to form a union, they announced Friday, part of a nationwide trend that has swept dozens of the company’s cafes.

According to a spokesperson for Workers United, 13 workers at the Astoria Boulevard Starbucks on the corner of 31st Street have unanimously agreed to support the union, the current union they want to join. A formal vote is likely to take place within weeks.

“At Astoria Boulevard, we pride ourselves on the agile community at our store,” reads an open letter to Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz, signed by the shop’s six baristas.

“We present our best at work every day, and it is our service to each other and to the neighborhood, which are many of us, that often keeps us moving.”

Requesting “a seat at the bargaining table”, workers cited the difficulties of working during the pandemic, including new job responsibilities and “questionable health and safety protocols”, they wrote. He asked Schultz to recognize the union and commit to a fair vote.

According to a tracker from Perfect Union, workers at 150 Starbucks locations nationwide have filed union petitions. The movement began in Buffalo, NY, where employees at two stores voted to unionize in December and January—despite Starbucks’ efforts to stop them from doing so.

Also on Friday, Astoria Boulevard activists revealed that four elected officials in the neighborhood had wrote your letter to Schultz, adding that he “stands in solidarity” with the staff. He told Starbucks to refrain from retaliating anyone involved in the effort, as the company has been accused of doing so elsewhere.

“All workers have the right to a union and a collective voice in their own employment situations,” reads the letter, which was co-signed by US Representative Carolyn Maloney, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani and Citi . Council member Tiffany Caban.

According to a Workers United spokesperson, 12 of the store’s 13 locations have already signed union cards, while the 13th haven’t because they were on vacation. This exceeds the 30 percent threshold that triggers a vote of the union under federal law.

“My fellow partners and I decided to unionize because we’re forced to manage the consequences of decisions we weren’t part of, made by people who don’t understand how to live life as a Starbucks barista. How about it,” said Brandi Alduk, a three-year employee at the store, in a statement.

Workers will hold a rally in support of the union effort next Friday outside Starbucks’ Meatpacking District roastery, whose workers themselves have applied for a union.

World Nation News Desk
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