BUFFALO, NY — Starbucks partners at Genesee St. have won another major victory as the NLRB has ruled that the attempt by Starbucks to pack the voting list with partners from another store has failed. The NLRB ruled that partners at the Genesee St. store across from the Buffalo International Airport have voted by a margin of 15-9 in favor of forming a union.
The ballots that were challenged at the vote count on December 9 were cast by partners who work at another store. The Regional office of the NLRB ruled that these ballots are ineligible.
“While most of the world saw us win on December 9th, today is a special day - today we put an end to Starbucks ’ delay attempts and formed our union at the Genesee Starbucks, ” said Lexi Rizzo, a shift supervisor at the location.
“Finally, the partners feel we have a voice at our workplace - this is an emotional day for all partners here who have fought so hard to make our voices heard in the work we do. Now we’re asking the same thing Elmwood is asking - we want a fair contract and most importantly we demand that Starbucks stop their union busting in Buffalo and across the nation immediately. No other partners should have to endure what we went through to have a voice on the job.”
“Words cannot describe how we are feeling right now, ” Caroline Lerczak, a shift supervisor at the Genesee St. store said. "After months of anti-union meetings, intimidation tactics, and intense pressure to vote 'no' , we can finally say we won our union. I would love to see Starbucks show some accountability for their actions and come to the bargaining table to negotiate with us now.”
The Genesee St. partners now will join with the Elmwood location to become the first two Starbucks stores to bargain for a collective bargain agreement.
Michelle Eisen, an 11 year barista at the Elmwood store congratulated the partners at Genesee, “We are so excited to be joined in bargaining by another store and that stores in other cities like Boston, Arizona, Knoxville, Seattle and Chicago are also moving forward. Working together we ’ re going to make Starbucks a better place for partners to work and customers to visit. It’s time for Starbucks to end its anti-union campaign and negotiate with us.”
The Genesse count means there are now two unionized Starbucks locations in Buffalo. The results of the third store that voted in Buffalo, Camp Road, are being challenged by the union over the company ’ s conduct during the organizing campaign. Three more stores in Buffalo are awaiting their election date from the NLRB.
The Starbucks Workers United are members of Workers United Upstate New York, an affiliate of SEIU.