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  • We work, we sweat, so give us our respect.

  • We work, we sweat, so give us our respect.

  • Starbucks workers nationwide are filing for union elections like never before.

  • It's a movement led by young employees that Starbucks has sought to halt.

  • We only have about 1 person who's over the age of 35.

  • Most of us are either Millennials or Gen Z.

  • Joseph Thompson is one of the organizers at this Santa Cruz, California Starbucks.

  • I started at Starbucks when I was 16 years old.

  • I was working two jobs during high school in Texas, and I needed to work at Starbucks to get healthcare.

  • Thompson says a lot has changed at the world's largest coffee chain.

  • Starbucks used to be a good company.

  • They used to treat their workers with respect.

  • And throughout the pandemic, we have seen them disrespect workers over and over.

  • The unionization movement began last December at a Buffalo, New York store.

  • And we're standing here, having succeeded in spite of everything that has been done to try and prevent this.

  • Since then, Starbucks has been hit with a complaint from the National Labor Relations Board for penalizing two employees who are part of the union push in Phoenix.

  • Today, another Starbucks announced that they're joining the fight.

  • Over 140 Starbucks stores across 27 states have filed for a union election, and 6 have won.

  • Support for unions, specifically among younger generations, is at an all-time high.

  • According to a 2021 Gallup poll, approval of labor unions is at the highest point since 1965, currently at 68%, and higher in the 18-34 age range, at 77%.

  • There's so many different things that are coming together with the pandemic, you know, watching the financial crisis unfold and watching, you know, wealth inequality soar.

  • But because of our antiquated labor laws, only 1 in 10 Americans are currently in a union.

  • Hope Liepe works at a Starbucks in Ithaca, New York.

  • Hi, it's gonna be $5.56 for ya.

  • I'm part Gen Z; I've seen a lot more backing of this than of any other union movement.

  • Liepe says growing up with social media has helped her see past the performative politics of a corporation and demand more.

  • We grew up in a time where, at a school, shootings were a thing, so we're a lot more looking, just, past, like, the politics, "Oh, everything's fine."

  • We were noticing, in fact, that things weren't fine because they were directly impacting us.

  • Liepe and other Starbucks workers believe the company is engaging in union busting by suggesting bargaining be done by districts rather than individual stores.

  • So, now, we're gonna go against that and say, "No, Starbucks, you can't do that and we're gonna win that case."

  • We've never lost that case around the nation.

  • Starbucks really does that just to stall it out.

  • A Starbucks spokesperson said that claims of anti-union activity are categorically false, adding,

  • "We've encouraged our partners to exercise their right to vote in the elections and have their voices heard."

  • And we can see this in Starbucks.

  • We can see that, in the original cases in Buffalo, Starbucks' first response was to say,

  • "This bargaining unit is too small. It shouldn't just be the single store. It should be a much larger bargaining unit."

  • And the National Labor Relations Board then said, "No."

  • They know they're going to lose, but they do it as a way to slow the process down 'cause they believe the morethe longer they can slow it down and drag it out, the more likely it is that the committed workers will leave.

  • In March, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson stepped down.

  • Howard Schultz, the CEO before him, assumed the role.

  • Balancing profitability with our commitment to our peoplethat is rock solid.

  • Rock solid.

  • Starbucks declined to answer questions from "The Washington Post" about Schultz's position on the unions forming across the company.

  • The Starbucks spokesperson did say,

  • "We've been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners without a union between us."

  • And that they will "follow the NLRB's process to resolve the complaint" in Phoenix.

  • But even if these stores win their elections, challenges still remain.

  • The big question will be, "How much does this spread across Starbucks as a whole?"

  • And then do we see people in other industries or other employers look at this and say, "Hey, we want to do this as well"?

  • And having democracy in the workplace is gonna be a, you know, huge factor that influences Gen Z and the politics that are gonna be pushing us to further unionize other stores.

We work, we sweat, so give us our respect.

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Gen Z is driving the Starbucks unionization movement

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    たらこ posted on 2022/01/03
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