Workers at a “high-incident” Starbucks in Eugene, Oregon, are often expected to manage in-store conflicts and crises on their own. They say they’re unionizing in response to the company not training or compensating them well enough for the task.
Faith Bennett is a PhD student in US history at University of California, Davis.
After the historic union victory in Buffalo, Seattle Starbucks workers have filed for union election in the supposedly union-proof company’s hometown. A win in Seattle would be a crack in Starbucks’s mythology.
Starbucks was designed from its inception to be union-proof. But yesterday workers in Buffalo, New York, managed to win the first union at the company in the US. It’s a landmark victory, and it can be replicated elsewhere.
Starbucks portrays itself as a “community of partners,” not an average workplace. But now that workers are organizing a union drive in Buffalo, that warm and fuzzy rhetoric has vanished, replaced by coercion and union-busting.