Employees at a Starbucks in Lakeview announced their intention to unionize on Tuesday, according to a publicly shared letter.
Workers at the cafe, located at Irving Park Road and Ashland Avenue, are seeking to join the seven other Starbucks locations in the Chicago area that have so far voted to unionize: three in Edgewater and one each in Bucktown. , Hyde Park, North Park and the northwest suburb of Cary.
“We are a happy store and we love our jobs,” the employees wrote in a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “However, when borrowed or transferred partners come to our store, they tell us how unique we are. What is the problem.
Chicago employees are part of a nationwide Starbucks union that has grown rapidly since early last year in Buffalo, New York. In the United States, 283 Starbucks sites held union elections, with 228 votes in favor, 46 votes against and nine still with disputed results, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
The company has faced numerous charges of “union busting” and retaliation against pro-union workers, including alleged illegal dismissals.
Workers United, the union representing organized Starbucks locations, said the company fired 55th and Woodlawn employee Jasper Booth-Hodges earlier this month in retaliation for its efforts to unionize the cafe.
Last week, the NLRB regional manager overseeing Chicago accused Starbucks of violating labor laws by “banning pro-union masks and t-shirts, questioning staff, telling employees unionizing would be futile and threatening them with loss of raises and benefits if they organised,” Bloomberg first reported.
Starbucks has consistently denied the union busting allegations, calling them “categorically false” and previously telling WTTW News that the company “will be prepared to take our case.”
“We want a workplace that works for us – where our manager doesn’t have to fight to get us adequate coverage, where there’s a salary that keeps up with the rising cost of living, and where promises are delivered with tangible actions,” Irving said. and Ashland employees wrote in their letter. “We look forward to working together in good faith throughout the organizing process in hopes of remaining united as a team.
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