St. Louis-Area Starbucks Latest To Join Union

Ladue and St. Louis city locations join 150 other unionized stores nationwide

click to enlarge The Starbucks at Kingshighway and Chippewa was one of two that voted to unionize today. - Google Maps
The Starbucks at Kingshighway and Chippewa was one of two that voted to unionize today.

The first St. Louis Starbucks stores have unionized.

Over the past 24 hours, three Starbucks locations have taken a vote to unionize.

Two of those locations, one in Ladue and one at Kingshighway and Chippewa, agreed to unionize in 12-3 and 9-4 votes, respectively, according to Mari Orrego, an organizer with the labor union Chicago and Midwest Joint Board of Workers United.

Orrego said they plan to contest the results to the National Labor Relations Board due to union-busting tactics. In a statement to the RFT, Starbucks denied using union-busting tactics. “Any claims of union-busting are false,” it said. The company pointed to an April 20th Unfair Labor Practice charge against Workers United in Phoenix and Denver, where they accused some organizers of “intimidation, bullying and harassment.”

The unionized stores will now move to the bargaining phase with Starbucks as official union members of Workers United. Starbucks said it intends to move forward in the bargaining process.

“Regarding the stores where the majority of partners voted to be represented by the union, as we have said throughout, we will respect the process and will bargain in good faith guided by our principles laid out here,” the company said. “We hope that the union does the same.”

With the formation of a union, Orrego said that the workers want “a seat at a table.”

“What it all boils down to is that these workers know that they deserve a voice in the terms and conditions of their workplace,” Orrego said.

Starbucks staffers and union supporters reacted to the news on social media.

More St. Louis-area Starbucks locations will decide on unionization in the coming weeks, Orrego said. Four additional St. Louis-area Starbucks have filed for unionization through the National Labor Relations Board. The Hampton and Wise Starbucks, just south of Forest Park, will vote next Friday.

The two unionized St. Louis stores join 150 Starbucks stores nationwide that have unionized. The movement has taken off since December 2021, when the first Starbucks unionized in Buffalo, NY.

In St. Louis, Orrego expects other local Starbucks to follow suit after the most recent votes.

“The ripple effect would be more Starbucks stores reaching out to us, wanting to start a union process,” Orrego said.

Note: This article has been updated to include Starbucks’ comments.

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