Members react during the Starbucks union vote in Buffalo, New York, the United States, on December 9, 2021.
Lindsay DeDario | Reuters
Starbucks plans to negotiate in good faith with workers at its Elmwood, Buffalo, New York business, the company said Monday, days after the workers’ votes were confirmed to form the coffee chain’s first U.S. union.
In a letter to all US partners, Rossann Williams, Starbucks EPP North America, said the company’s belief that it does not want a union “between us as partners” has not changed, but has respected legal process.
“That means we’ll be negotiating in good faith with the union representing partners in the one Buffalo deal that voted for union representation. We hope that union representatives will also come to the table with mutual good faith, respect, and positive intent. ”Williams wrote.
Earlier this month, the workers at Elmwood Location voted for union formation, a first for the company since going public decades ago. A second vote at a nearby coffee shop was in Starbucks’ favor, while the results of a third were not finalized that day as both sides questioned the balance sheet. Last week the union officially opened questioned the results in the two branches.
The drive for unions is also spreading across the country. Baristas in two Boston cafes registered for union elections Late last week. Other stores in Buffalo and in Mesa, Arizona are also planning to join forces with Starbucks Workers United, a subsidiary of the Service Employees International Union. The more successful businesses are, the easier it is for workers to bargain collectively with the coffee giant. The two sides do not have to agree on a contract.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson recently told CNBCs Jim Cramer that he expects a handful of additional businesses that need to be unionized.
The union push has generally met with strong opposition from Starbucks management. In Buffalo and Mesa, the company has sent executives to what organizers have called “union busting.” Starbucks denies all allegations of attempting to intimidate workers. The company has stated since the beginning of the process that it believes the entire Buffalo market should have polled 20 stores.