Affton, Maryland Heights Starbucks workers file for union elections

SHOWING SOLIDARITY, workers from nearby unionized Starbucks showed up at the Affton and Maryland Heights Starbucks locations July 22 to hold “sip-ins” to show their support to workers who recently filed for union elections. Current and former Starbucks workers attending the Affton sip-in included from left Jon Gamache, Ryan Stoner, Griffith Moore and Maria Kremsreiter. – Labor Tribune photo

Missouri Correspondent

Starbucks workers in Maryland Heights and Affton have joined five other St. Louis-area Starbucks by filing petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize with Starbucks Workers United.

On July 22, workers from other stores held “sip-ins” at the Gravois and Rock Hill roads and Page Avenue and Ball Drive locations to celebrate the recent action and support workers.

“We’re here today trying to show support to these workers for taking the first step toward unionizing,’ said John Gamache, who works at the Lindbergh Boulevard and Clayton Road Starbucks. “We’re hoping that others join us in sending these workers good vibes by requesting that their coffee be union made.”

Workers at the Affton and Maryland Heights locations sent letters to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan to announce their organizing campaign. In the letter, workers explained they’re unionizing because the stores’ workers have faced a harsh cut in labor, despite an increase in sales over the last year.

“Many of us lost benefits because we could not meet the necessary 20 hours per week, the letter states. “Benefits that were promised to us when we signed on. Partners rely on the company for medical coverage, ASU scholarships, gender-affirming care, and disability pay. Partners requested an increase in hours from management. Yet, nothing changed.”

The Affton and Maryland Heights locations bring the total number of Starbucks to unionize in the St. Louis area to seven. They are joining a nationwide movement of over 8,000 baristas organizing for better working conditions, fair wages and consistent schedules.

Starbucks has launched a ruthless union-busting campaign that includes threatening workers’ access to benefits, firing over 230 union leaders across the country, and shuttering union stores. The NLRB has issued over 100 official complaints against the company, encompassing over 1,600 violations of federal labor law.

Starbucks Workers United is the union drive that has taken the Labor Movement by storm. Since December 2021, over 330 Starbucks stores in 38 states and the District of Columbia have successfully unionized — more than any company in the 21st century.


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