In a unanimous vote, workers at the 29th & Willamette Starbucks store officially won a union Wednesday afternoon. There were 17 yes votes, zero no votes, and no contested ballots. The bargaining unit contains 28 people in total for the new union.
Workers and supporters gathered at the GTFF office to watch the ballot count over Zoom. The process was very deliberate, with an NLRB employee opening the return envelope, then the secrecy envelope, then counting the ballots. While showing the observing parties each step including that the box that was used was empty. When the workers realized they had a majority of votes they were overjoyed and embraced in a group hug.
“It’s really just the sense of like relief. Don’t have to stress about the vote anymore. Now getting ready for bargaining,” Jake LaMourie, a worker at the 29th & Willamette said about how he felt about the results.
29th & Willamette became the first Starbucks store in Oregon to file for a union back on January 7. Since then every other Starbucks store in Eugene has filed for union election. The workers join 19 other shops across the country that formed a union with Workers United, an affiliate of SEIU.
If the other Eugene stores vote in favor of a union, the 29th & Willamette workers say they plan on bargaining together with those stores, while still each having separate contracts.
The NLRB has sent out ballots to workers at all seven other Eugene Starbucks stores and the board will count the votes over the coming weeks. Ballots for the workers at the 7th & Washington, Delta & Green Acres, EMU, Franklin & Villard, and Oakway Mall Starbucks will be counted by the agency on April 28. Workers at Valley River Drive and W. 11th & Acorn Park Starbucks will have their ballots counted by the NLRB on May 5.