Three more Erie County Starbucks stores get chance to vote on unionization

Amherst

FILE — Pro-union pins sit on a table during a watch party for Starbucks’ employees union election, Dec. 9, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. Starbucks says it will negotiate in good faith with workers who’ve agreed to unionize in Buffalo. In a bargain letter sent to all U.S. partners, Executive Vice President Rossann Williams said that the company hasn’t wanted unionization, but respects the legal process and wants to work with those in Buffalo who voted in favor of union representation. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex, File)

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Starbucks locations in Cheektowaga, Amherst and Depew will soon get the opportunity to vote on unionization.

On Friday morning, News 4 learned that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered ballots for the following stores:

  • Sheridan Drive and Bailey Avenue in Amherst
  • Walden Avenue and Anderson Road in Cheektowaga
  • Transit and French roads in Depew

The ballots will be mailed out on January 31 and must be returned by February 22. The votes will be counted starting at 1 p.m. the following day.

“The truth is that Starbucks’ actions have shown they aren’t interested in any partners voting. Despite their actions, our demands for a better say in our workplace can’t be drowned out and today’s decision showed us again that we are simply asserting the rights we have as partners to have a say in our working conditions. Hopefully Starbucks will decide to live up to their mission and values and sit down with partners at Genesee and Elmwood to bargain a contract that works both for us and the company. Our movement is only growing as more partners around the country file petitions at their own stores and join our fight.” 

Angel Krempa, shift supervisor at Starbucks’ Depew store

So far, two local Starbucks stores have successfully unionized. Buffalo’s location on Elmwood Avenue was the first of nearly 9,000 company-owned stores in the nation to do so. Cheektowaga’s Genesee Street location followed this past Monday.

One local store, Hamburg’s Camp Road location, appeared to not have enough votes in their attempt to unionize. But that vote is under review by the NLRB, since some ballots were challenged.

And outside of New York State, efforts to unionize other stores across the United States are underway.

Starbucks Unionization Efforts

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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