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Second Valley Starbucks votes to unionize

Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 21:51:30-04

MESA — On Friday, employees of a second Mesa Starbucks voted to join Workers United, a union that represents approximately 4,500 workers in Arizona.

Nationally, Starbucks is seeing a growing number of its employees at least attempt to organize.

Workers in 100 of Starbucks stores across the country, including three more in Arizona, are trying to unionize.

"It just means better working conditions for our store. Things are going to get better in general," said Bradley Louge a barista at the Starbucks on Crismon and Southern after the vote was announced.

Wages, healthcare coverage, parental leave and tuition coverage for ASU online programs are some of the benefits Starbucks touts. But inflation is cutting into salaries and employees need to work at least 20 hours a week to maintain health care benefits, something that's becoming harder to do.

"I have been working 30 hours a week usually for the past two years. Now I'm being cut down to 15-17 hours a week," said Haley Smith who also voted to unionize the Crismon and Southern Starbucks.

A Starbucks spokesman said, "We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we've been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed."

Smith is hoping a union will allow workers more say in company policies. Giving them a chance to work as partners.

"A union will give us the power to talk to Starbucks on how these problems, these issues, are affecting our work environment," Smith said.