The Tallahassee Starbucks located at John Knox Road and North Monroe Street is the first Starbucks store in Florida to file for a union election.
According to local media, barista Calum Johnson said 24 employees or 75% of the staff members at this location had signed union authorization cards over the past weekend.
The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) website listed the filing for the Tallahassee store for union representation on January 11, 2022.
More Perfect Union tweeted that employees at seven Starbucks locations have filed for a union election in the last two weeks. These new petitions come after a Starbucks café in Buffalo, New York, became the second unionized company-owned Starbucks in the United States after the federal labor board on Monday, January 10, certified the results of their December election.
NEW: A Tallahassee Starbucks store has become the first in Florida to file for a union election.— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) January 12, 2022
With the addition of this store (at John Knox Rd. & North Monroe St.), workers at 7 Starbucks locations have filed in the past two weeks. pic.twitter.com/EAnNBihPgv
So, why unionize?
According to the report, Johnson said the union committee in Tallahassee is fighting for better benefits and increased recognition of seniority overall, and more input in daily operations, among other needs.
Likewise, in an interview with Cleveland.com, 28-year-old shift supervisor Kate Gammons-Nardi, of Cleveland, Ohio, said, “Starbucks has a reputation for treating workers better than similar companies. It offers health benefits and company stock and is raising wages, so workers average $17-an-hour. Workers want to unionize, in part, to hold Starbucks accountable to that reputation.”
Workers at Starbucks, like many businesses over the last two years, are dealing with high turnover rates and surges in COVID-19 infections. Overall, the employees want more input on protocol and how to make the store succeed, says Gammons-Nardi.
The Starbucks in Cleveland became the first location in Ohio to file a petition, also on January 11.
“While Starbucks respects the free choice of our partners, we firmly believe that our work environment, coupled with our outstanding compensation and benefits, makes unions unnecessary at Starbucks,” a spokesperson previously told Insider. “We respect our partners’ right to organize but believe that they would not find it necessary given our pro-partner environment.”