Workers at a Starbucks in Santa Maria have successfully unionized, joining the other 240 Starbucks stores that have been unionized nationwide.
Workers at the store located at Broadway and McCoy voted 14-4 in favor of unionizing on Monday, Oct. 3. Employees started organizing at the Broadway and McCoy location in July of this year, Mustang News previously reported.
“It was a lot of weight off of my shoulders because we have all been doing this really hard work for the past few months,” Jaylee Moore, a lead organizer for the new union, told Mustang News. “To finally have that finality that we do have the union, that this was worth it, was really relieving.”
Despite 30 ballots being sent out to the workers, only 18 were returned.
According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Starbucks has violated labor law in its attempts to stop the unionization effort. Stores that attempt to unionize are subject to captive audience meetings, which require team members to watch videos or hear arguments against unionizing from management. This tactic was not used in Santa Maria.
“We expected our baristas to have one-on-one and two-on-one meetings with our store manager and district manager, but they ended up bringing back our old store manager who everyone was quite fond of to try and get us to vote no and that came off as manipulative,” Moore said.
According to Moore, the substantial number of queer people working at the Broadway and McCoy store made organizing easier.
“Queerness bonds us as individuals,” Moore said of her and her coworkers.
According to a news release put out by Starbucks Workers United, the process of bargaining for contracts with Starbucks corporate began on Sept. 26 after months of waiting. Starbucks corporate refused to open negotiations in May of this year with stores that had unionized when Starbucks Workers United made their original call to start negotiations.
According to the news release, the union demands dignity and respect in the workplace, protection from discrimination and worker safety in their contract.
Moore expects negotiations between the unionized workers at the Broadway and McCoy store and Starbucks corporate to be included in the next wave of negotiations.