BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dozens of Starbucks baristas traveled to the franchise’s Elmwood Avenue location as their unionizing campaign continues.

“The Union is Calling Bus Tour” brought over 50 baristas from across the country to the Elmwood Starbucks to demand that the company end its union-busting campaign. According to a press release, the Elmwood location will have been unionized, without a contract, for over 500 days as of July 2023.

The Elmwood Starbucks was the first store to unionize, kicking off a nationwide campaign that led hundreds of stores across 41 states to join Starbucks Workers United.

The bus tour will be traveling to 13 cities in 41 states across the United States in an effort to show how a union could make a difference for workers.

The unions aim to establish the right to work in a safe, secure, and respectful workplace. Earn livable wages, guaranteed hours, consistent scheduling, and fairness in the workplace–including a grievance procedure and protection from unjust discipline. Along with the right to organize free from fear, intimidation, or coercion from Starbucks.

According to a release, Starbucks is also facing dozens of complaints and being prosecuted by the federal government, which encompasses over 200 charges and alleges over 1,300 violations.

Wednesday afternoon, a Starbucks spokesperson released the following statement:

Workers United should demonstrate the same commitment to bargaining as they do to rallies, billboards and now a multi-city bus tour. Even though we have attempted to schedule bargaining for hundreds of stores, Workers United has only met Starbucks at the table to progress negotiations for 10 stores.

Partners voted for bargaining not buses. Perhaps that’s why partners at a dozen stores across the U.S. have already filed petitions to decertify Workers United as their bargaining representative—including three stores in New York.

Starbucks spokesperson

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Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.