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Second “Red Starbucks” Dawns over Buffalo

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Today, January 11th, 24 Starbucks employees will clock into work at their store in Buffalo, New York with a victorious vote to unionize on their side. The National Labor Relations Board certified this second successful union vote on Monday, solidifying yet another impressive victory for Starbucks Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

Unfortunately, US labor laws do not require a union contract to be reached, but the employer to engage in legitimate negotiations with the newly formed union.

It seems likely the new union will organize and prepare itself to properly gain the leverage needed to win a strong and favorable contract at either the negotiation table or picket line.

One week ago, workers from the first unionized Starbucks near Buffalo staged a walk-out over what were deemed unsafe working conditions with the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases. This quick utilization of the rights afforded by unionization has solidified Starbucks workers’ decision to organize their labor.

With the jury still out on a 3rd union vote for Starbucks unionization near Buffalo, Starbucks Workers United has called foul play. The response from Starbucks Baristas was resounding, accusing the company of engaging in union-busting practices.

“Today we put an end to Starbucks’s delay attempts and formed our union… We demand that Starbucks stop their union busting in Buffalo and across the nation immediately. No other partners should have to endure what we went through to have a voice on the job.” –Alexis Rizzo, Shift Supervisor

Since the success of Buffalo’s unionization, calls for unionization votes have rang out across the country in cities like Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Knoxville, and others. Like a domino effect, workers throughout the country are witnessing the effectiveness and freedom provided by unionization. With low wages, high rent, and poor working conditions, this is labor’s “perfect storm.” CPI’s labor correspondent in New York, Joe Gale, made the following statement,

“The recent strikes waves that started in October have carried more militant strikes into the new year leading these new victories to inspire confidence in the American working class.”

With two successful union votes under Starbucks Workers United’s belt and a third to come, the bright prospect of a unionization wave is dawning once again in the US.

As always, the Center for Political Innovation is honored to provide news coverage without the corporate bias.

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