SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM) - A San Antonio Starbucks has become the first of the coffee chain's stores in Texas to file for unionization with the National Labor Relations Board.
KENS-TV reported that workers at a Starbucks on the city's north side "sent a letter to company CEO Kevin Johnson explaining their desire to organize and announced they 'are ready to finally be regarded as [a] partner, officially'."
While the store is the first to file in Texas, it joins a growing movement across the country of Starbucks workers looking to unionize. Starbucks Workers United (SBWU) has grown quickly after starting in Buffalo in 2021.
The process may take some time, however, as the store is the 65th store to file.
Once 30% or more of workers sign cards or petition for a union, the NLRB will hold an election. If the majority of workers vote to unionize, the NLRB will certify the union as the representative for collective bargaining. Employers may also voluntarily recognize unions.
The resurgent union movement comes at a time when workers across the US are reconsidering their values and careers in the so-called "Great Resignation." They hope that organizing as a union will help them achieve better wages and benefits, which studies have shown is often the case.
Some worry that unionization may drive up costs due to labor, but prices at many businesses have already increased anyway due to inflation. Additionally, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnston's salary rose by 31% to $20.4 million last year according to MarketWatch.
In response to the growing demand among workers for union representation, Starbucks has undertaken a massive anti-union campaign. Workers have reported being required to attend anti-union meetings, being sent anti-union texts from the company, among other things.
While it is illegal for a company to retaliate against workers for organizing, methods such as these fall within legal limits.
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