BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Starbucks Workers United, the group that helped propel the Elmwood Village coffee store to become the first unionized Starbucks in America, has filed objections related to the unionization votes at two other local stores.
During the recent votes, Hamburg’s Camp Road location voted against unionizing, while the Genesee Street election results are unclear due to contested votes.
The National Labor Relations Board says Starbucks Workers United has filed objections to those elections, which the board’s regional director will review. The filings allege Starbucks’ “shock and awe” campaign included “an intense intrusion of executives and managers who attempt[ed] to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.”
A Starbucks spokeswoman called the claims in the union filing “grossly inaccurate,” adding, “We did not and do not engage in intimidation tactics. We are partners. We show up for one another. That’s what we do and what we will continue to do.”
If the regional director decides to order a hearing, each store could get one of two results — either the objections will be dismissed or a new election will be ordered. In this situation, a decision would come after a hearing officer writes a report with their recommendations for the regional director. There isn’t a clear timeline for this process.
In order to unionize, a store needs a majority vote, which means at least 50 percent, plus one.
The Elmwood Village store was the first of nearly 9000 company-owned stores in America to unionize. A number of other local Starbucks stores have been taking steps to do the same. Those are located at Sheridan and Bailey in Amherst, Walden and Anderson in Cheektowaga, and Transit and French in Depew.
Outside of New York, Starbucks workers in Boston, Massachusetts are also looking to unionize after the results of the Elmwood Village vote.