June 29, 2022

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Starbucks’ New York City Reserve Roastery becomes the 9th cafe to unionize

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Employees serve customers at a newly opened Starbucks’ Reserve Roasteries in the Meatpacking District on on December 14, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Starbucks baristas at its New York City Reserve Roastery voted 46-36 in favor of forming a union on Friday, dealing a blow to incoming interim CEO Howard Schultz that may be more personal.

The Reserve Roastery is the ninth company-owned Starbucks to unionize. On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board counted votes for a Knoxville cafe, but a challenged ballot left the results of that effort uncertain. The union was winning by a single vote. Last week, a cafe in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle and a second location in Mesa, Arizona, also voted to unionize.

To date, only one location has held an election and voted against unionizing under Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. However, the union pulled a petition for a union election for Roastery manufacturing workers, who were slated to cast their votes on Thursday.

Friday’s win for Starbucks Workers United represents more than just another location in the growing tally of unionized cafes. Starbucks opened the nearly 23,000-square-foot cafe in Manhattan’s meatpacking district in December 2018, during the tenure of CEO Kevin Johnson. But the luxurious store and others like it was actually the brainchild of former CEO Schultz, who retakes the top job Monday on an interim basis as Johnson retires.

“I’m proud of the culmination of our efforts to make our workplaces more democratic and equitable. Community is a value near and dear to my heart and I am grateful and joyous to be in solidarity with my peers,” said Ley Kido,” Starbucks partner of 9 years.

The Reserve Roasteries located in cities like Seattle, Shanghai and Milan were meant to be immersive, upscale coffee experiences to attract both tourists and city-dwellers alike. Schultz wanted to open several dozen of them, but Johnson said in 2019 the company would…

2022-04-02 12:44:00

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