BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — New York’s top prosecutor paid a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday in a show of support for local Starbucks workers.

Attorney General Letitia James was accompanied by Sen. Tim Kennedy and Workers United’s Gary Bonadonna. The three were seen at America’s first unionized Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue.

James has been a strong advocate for Starbucks employees during their fight for unionization, which has been a success at 11 stores across the nation, six of which are local.

  • Delaware Avenue and W. Chippewa Street, Buffalo
  • Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo
  • Genesee Street in Cheektowaga
  • Walden Avenue and Anderson Road, Cheektowaga
  • Sheridan Drive and N. Bailey Avenue, Amherst
  • Transit Road and French Road, Depew

“I fully support Starbucks employees in Buffalo for bravely exercising their fundamental right to unionize,” James said this past November. “They are courageously standing up to a multi-billion-dollar company to demand better pay and protections.”

In all, the Buffalo market has 20 Starbucks stores. To unionize, a store needs a majority vote, which means just over 50 percent.

“I am inspired by the Starbucks employees in Buffalo who are leading a national movement to empower workers. They courageously stood up to a multi-billion-dollar company to demand fairer pay and better workplace conditions — and they won. Their heroic efforts will go down in history as a major milestone in the labor movement. Worker protections are not a luxury — they’re a right — and I will continue to use the power of my office to protect those rights. I am proud to stand with these workers as they continue their fight for fair workplace conditions for Starbucks employees in Buffalo and across the nation.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James

(Photo courtesy of the Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James)

This past October, James came to Buffalo to support another local union, made up of healthcare workers, as they went on strike from Catholic Health. The two sides came to an agreement on a new contract the following month.

Starbucks Unionization Effort

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.