Starbucks ‘New York City Reserve Roastery becomes the 9th coffee shop to merge

Employees serve customers at a newly opened Starbucks’ Reserve Roasteries in Meatpacking County on December 14, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | beautiful pictures

Starbucks Baristas at the New York City Reserve Roastery voted 46-36 in favor of forming a union on Friday, dealing a blow to Interim CEO Howard Schultz that may have been more personal.

Reserve Roastery is the 9th Starbucks-owned company to unite. On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board counted votes for a Knoxville cafe, but a challenged vote made the outcome of that effort uncertain. The union won by just one vote. Last week, a coffee shop in Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle and a second location in Mesa, Arizona, also voted to merge.

To date, only one location has held elections and voted against unionization under the name Workers United, a branch of the Service Employees International Union. However, the union withdrew its petition for union elections for Roastery production workers, who were scheduled to vote on Thursday.

Friday’s win for Starbucks Workers United represents more than another spot in the growing number of union cafes. Starbucks opens nearly 23,000 square foot coffee shop in the meatpacking district of Manhattan in December 2018, during the tenure of CEO Kevin Johnson. But the luxury store and others like it are actually the brainchild of former CEO Schultz, who will temporarily retain his job Monday when Johnson retires.

“I’m proud of the pinnacle of our efforts to make our workplace more democratic and equal. Community is a close and dear value to my heart and mine. grateful and delighted to be in solidarity with my colleagues,” said Ley Kido. ” Starbucks partner for 9 years.

The Reserve Roasteries located in cities like Seattle, Shanghai, and Milan aim to offer immersive, premium coffee experiences to appeal to both tourists and city dwellers. Schultz wants to open a few dozen of them, but Johnson said in 2019 the company will downsize based on those ambitious plans. The last one opened debuted in Chicago that year.

Friday’s vote at the New York City Roastery was the first for Starbucks to be conducted in person, rather than via mail-in ballots.

]People leave the newly opened Starbucks’ Reserve Roasteries in Meatpacking County on December 14, 2018 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | beautiful pictures

The push for Starbucks’ burgeoning alliance will be one of the challenges Schultz faces as he once again takes over as chief executive. During his stint as the coffee chain’s CEO, Starbucks had a reputation as a generous and forward-thinking employer, an image that is now threatened as the union gains momentum and workers share their grievances.

This chain is not the only company facing obstacles to wages and working conditions by representation of the union. Earlier on Friday, Amazon Workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted to become the e-commerce giant’s first consolidated facility. And in March, REI Co-op employees at the flagship Manhattan store voted to form the company’s first union in the US.

The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Starbucks in early March for allegedly retaliating against two Phoenix employees who were attempting to organize. The union also alleges that Starbucks engaged in union breaking across many of its stores that filed to vote. The company has denied those allegations.

Early Union victory in Buffalo has expanded to other Starbucks locations nationwide to host. More than 150 company-owned cafes have filed to register for union elections with the National Labor Relations Board, which includes other New York City locations. Workers at the Astor Place cafe in Manhattan began voting on Friday for their election by mail.

However, that is still only a small part of Starbucks overall. The company operates nearly 9,000 locations in the US

The NLRB’s regional director will now have to certify the ballots, a process that can take up to a week. The alliance then faced its next real challenge: negotiating a contract with Starbucks. Labor law does not require employers and unions to reach a collective bargaining agreement, and contract discussions can drag on for years.

At Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting a few weeks ago, President Mellody Hobson said the company understands and recognizes workers’ right to organize.

“We are also negotiating in good faith and we want a constructive relationship with the union,” she said.

She said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Earlier that day Starbucks “made some mistakes” when asked about the union push.

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