Starbucks staff to vote on union at three more New York stores


(Bloomberg) – Employees of Starbucks Corp. at three other restaurants in New York state will vote on unionization, a U.S. labor official said Friday, offering organizers a chance to expand a new union presence that is already inspiring copycat efforts across the country.

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In her decision, Nancy Wilson, acting regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, rejected the company’s arguments against holding store-by-store votes. She ordered that ballots be mailed to employees on January 31 and returned no later than February 22.

Employees at the three stores will vote to join Workers United, the same Service Employees International Union affiliate that recently won elections at two other sites in the same Buffalo area. These two restaurants represent the only unionized locations in the approximately 9,000 US locations operated by Starbucks.

Workers are also expected to vote to join Workers United this month in Arizona, and others have called for votes in cities including Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Knoxville, Tennessee and the company’s hometown of Seattle. The campaign continued to spread this week, with new campaign petitions filed in Ohio, New Jersey and Florida.

In a letter to employees in December, the company’s North American president, Rossann Williams, reiterated that “we do not want a union between us as partners”, but that “we are following due process and “negotiate in good faith” from the start. New York store where the union prevailed.

Starbucks shares fell 3% to $99.29 at 11:15 a.m. in New York amid a broader decline in U.S. stocks.

(Updates with context starting at third paragraph)

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