Starbucks Workers Union

Starbucks Workers Union

Starbucks Workers Union

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The Starbucks Workers Union is a union formed by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to organize retail employees of Starbucks Coffee Company. The union has members at Starbucks locations in New York City, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cincinnati, Ohio, Quebec City, Bloomington, Minnesota, and Omaha, Nebraska.


On May 17, 2004, Starbucks's workers at the 36th and Madison store in midtown Manhattan organized the first Starbucks barista union in the United States. The union drive had its origins in barista's complaints that a starting wage of $7.75 an hour was not a living wage in New York City and that Starbucks refused to guarantee regularity of hours per week. The union has also joined with Global Exchange in calling on Starbucks to purchase at least 5% of the store's coffee from fair trade certified sources. The 12 workers submitted union cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a certification election. Prior to the election, Starbucks filed an appeal with the NLRB, asking that the election be extended to several stores, not the single store that filed for an election. The NLRB agreed to review the appeal and impound the ballots at the Madison Avenue store. The IWW subsequently withdrew the election petition because the appeal could cause a several-year...
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