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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Bernie Sanders-inspired Starbucks takeover

Starbucks allows employees who work at least 20 hours a week to receive health insurance, which is more generous than most of its competitors, and said it will raise average hourly pay to nearly $ 17 an hour by summer, well above the industry norm. … The company also offers tuition fees for employees eligible for an online bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University, helping it attract employees who want to go to college.

Such people, in turn, tend to sympathize with trade unions and various social activism. A recent Gallup poll found that people under 35 or liberal people are much more likely than others to support trade unions.

Several Starbucks workers seeking to organize unions in Buffalo; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; Knoxville, Tennessee; Tallahassee, Florida; and the Denver area seemed to fit this profile, stating that they were either strong supporters of Mr Sanders and other progressive politicians, or went to college, or both. Most were under 30.

“I was involved in the political organization of the Bernie Sanders campaign,” said Brik Zurek, a union campaign leader at Starbucks in Chicago. “It gave me a lot of skills.” ISS. Zurek, who uses gender-neutral polite titles and pronouns, also said they have a bachelor’s degree.

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Len Harris, who helped campaign at Starbucks near Denver, said that “I admire the progressivism and sense of community” of politicians such as Mr. Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat. She said she graduated from college and is awaiting a graduate admission decision.

And most union supporters drew inspiration from their colleagues in Buffalo. Sydney Durkin and Rachel Ibarra, who help organize Starbucks in Seattle, said workers at their store discussed the Buffalo campaign almost daily as it rolled out, and that one of them contacted the union after the National Labor Relations Board announced the initial results. campaigns. Buffalo elections in December. (The union’s second victory was announced Monday after the labor council resolved the ballot problem.)

Ms Ibarra said the victory showed the workers that, despite the opposition from the company, it was possible to unionize. “The Buffalo people have become superheroes,” she said. “Many of us spent so much time fearing retribution — none of us could afford to lose our jobs or shorten our work hours.”

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