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3 more Starbucks stores in NE Ohio announce plans to unionize

Starbucks
Posted at 9:21 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 09:21:21-04

CLEVELAND — Weeks after the first group of local Starbucks workers began their use to unionize, now three more stores in Northeast Ohio are doing the same.

Workers at the Clifton Avenue, University Circle and Mayfield Road locations in Cleveland Heights will be voting to form a union.

“Our goal is that we have so many stores that unionized that they just say, ‘you know what? Let's bargain with everybody,’” said Chelsea Cruea, a Starbucks shift supervisor at the Clifton Boulevard location. “We all realized that there are a lot of things that we really don't have a voice on, things such as hours being changed, cafe being opened and closed, things like that.”

The decision to unionize was made after seeing the West 6th Street location be the first in Ohio to file with the National Labor Relations Board. Since December, more than 150 of Starbucks' 9,000 stores have voted to unionize, and more than 275 have filed paperwork to hold elections.

“Starbucks has taken the stance that they don't want to accept the union. Whether they've said that or just by their direct actions,” Cruea said. “Every store has had a pretty unique response. We've had everything from direct retaliation to store owners completely just not responding to questions, and some of them are very quietly supportive.”

Workers will receive a ballot by mail Tuesday and vote accordingly. Starbucks employees— who the company calls partners— say they want their employees to feel empowered by the union vote.

The push for unions by Starbucks employees has been gaining momentum around the country. Workers say the pandemic highlighted what they feel is a lack of say in what’s happening in the company and in their stores.

“It has been a shocking amount of people who just changed their mobile order name to say like ‘Union Yes’ or ‘Union Strong,’ and it's the little things like that really keep us going,” said Cruea.

Starbucks tells News 5 the company thinks it’s stronger together, without unions but it respects its employees' right to organize.

While many Starbucks locations across the country have successfully unionized, none have finished negotiating a contract.

RELATED: Employees of West 6th Street Starbucks unanimously vote to unionize

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