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New Orleans Starbucks store becomes first in Louisiana to vote to unionize


New York Starbucks.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

New Orleans Starbucks workers voted in union to create a union. This was the first Louisiana Starbucks location to join the union.

WWNO FM reported that ballots were cast on Friday and Saturday at 11:01 AM in favor of joining Workers United. This union represents all the Starbucks outlets. The station reported that two ballots had been challenged.

New Orleans is just one week after the workers of Birmingham, Alabama voted 27-1 for their state’s first unionized Starbucks.

Barista Caitlyn and other workers wanted unionization because they felt understaffed and overworked during regular shifts, according to the station.

Pierce declared, “I am feeling incredible.” “This was something that we worked very hard for. It’s amazing to finally achieve it.”

Starbucks has opposed unionization. It claims its U.S. stores that are owned by 9,000 companies work better when Starbucks interacts with workers directly, which it calls “partners”.

Starbucks released a statement on Sunday, saying it is “listening to and learning” and that “we respect our partner’s right of organization.” Starbucks did not say whether it would contest the vote.

Billie Nyx was the lead organizer for the union campaign. She claimed she was fired mid-May after closing down the store without permission from the higher management. Nyx contests the firing, claiming it was in retaliation to union advocacy.

Nyx indicated that Nyx and their lawyer will meet to discuss specific requirements for contract negotiations.

To win the changes they seek — like better pay and more reliable schedules — unionized stores must still sit down with Starbucks and negotiate a contract. This is a lengthy and tedious process.

The first unionized Starbucks store in America, Buffalo, New York was established late last year. It is located in Seattle. The company operates more than 34,000 outlets around the world.