Starbucks workers in Eugene file for a union election

Workers at the Starbucks on 29th & Willamette in Eugene filed for a union election Thursday. The workers at the coffee shop are in unanimous support to organize under the Starbucks Workers United banner, joining workers across the country.

Workers recently filed for elections in Broomfield, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; and Knoxville, Tennessee. Workers in Buffalo, New York became the first and only Starbucks store to unionize last month. As of this writing, workers at 15 locations have filed for a union. The 29th & Willamette location is the first to file in Oregon.

Ky has been working at Starbucks since 2015. They got involved with Starbucks Workers United when they saw a post on Reddit about them where it linked to there Twitter account, and they sent them a direct message there. Ky says Workers United were very responsive and got them in touch with an organizer and has helped them in the process of organizing

“Starbucks calls its employees partners. But we are not treated like partners, we are partners in name only. We do not get a say we do not get a voice. And that’s been frustrating to us for a long time,” Ky said about the motivation to organize a union at their Starbucks.

Ky says the manager at the location has been helpful. He has been accommodating of workers schedules, for instance if they want to get a second job or go to school while working. The issues lie with Starbucks corporate.

Starbucks has used every tool in their toolbox to fight unionization attempts at other location. From litigation to sending people from corporate down to stores, and Ky fully expects them to pull the same tactics at the Starbucks on 29th & Willamette in Eugene.

Starbucks has been arguing that workers can not organize store-by-store. The company was dealt a major blow against that reasoning by the National Labor Relations Board when the US agency approved a union election for workers in Mesa, Arizona.

The NLRB has tentatively scheduled a hearing with the workers that petitioned on January 28. The next step will be to have an official election administered by the NLRB. The agency could allow for the election to be held within weeks or it could be months, the timeline rest mainly on what kind of challenges Starbucks puts up.

Ky says community members can help by calling on Starbucks to accept fair election principles. When Ky announced the news of the filing on Reddit on Friday, they said that multiple people came in to the shop to express their support and they hope the community will continue to stand with them and fellow workers.