CLEVELAND — Workers at a Starbucks in Cleveland banded together and petitioned the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) for unionization, pushing to become the coffee chain's first union store in Ohio, according to Starbucks Workers United union.
The Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United said that an "overwhelming majority" of workers at the store, located at 1374 W. 6th Street in Cleveland, signed union authorization cards.
Filed early Monday morning, the petition to unionize is a significant milestone for Starbucks workers wanting to join the Starbucks Workers United movement as it marks the first time Ohio employees of the chain have asked the NLRB for a union vote.
Workers sent an email to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson that read:
“Starbucks partners invest their safety, time, and well-being to serve at the forefront of the customer service industry, and this has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. (However), we do not feel we have been adequately cared for in terms of consistent guidelines or effective safety measures... These experiences have often (led) to burnout, disillusionment, and a feeling that rather than being considered “partners”, we are simply cogs in a machine. ...we know we can all do better.”
The movement of the Starbucks Workers United has been seen across the country, with stores unionizing in Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Buffalo, among other cities. The CMRJB of Workers United represents around 4,000 members in Ohio in numerous fields.
CMRJB Workers United Ohio State Director Mark Milko said that the group is proud to support the Cleveland Starbucks workers.
“In Cleveland and across Ohio, young workers in the service industry have sacrificed, while the CEOs and big shareholders rake in record profits. Workers United is proud to stand with Cleveland Starbucks partners as they attempt to win a real seat at the table, safety on the job and economic justice. Their fight is our fight, and we’ve got their backs.”
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