KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Starbucks partners from Knoxville, Tennessee on Thursday decided to join their fellow partners around the country and organize with Starbucks Workers United.
Workers United submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board, seeking union representation.
"I do genuinely love my job but there are too many things that I do not have any control over. There is no accountability. Everything comes down from corporate and partners have no say,” said Maggie Carter, a leader of the union's organizing committee. "It would be truly nice to have an equitable partnership with this company that I love working for."
Despite Starbucks' continued aggressive anti-union campaign, Starbucks partners have now submitted petitions for union elections across the country. In addition to Knoxville, other locations that have petitioned for union elections include Buffalo, NY, Mesa, AZ, Boston and Seattle. Three stores in Buffalo have already cast their votes. One store won their vote and became the first unionized Starbucks corporate store in the United States. Partners expect a second victory in Buffalo after the NLRB resolves the challenged ballots for another location. Dates for elections have not yet been set for the other stores.
“It is so inspiring to see other partners joining our movement,” says Michelle Eisen, an 11-year Starbucks partner and leader of the organizing committee in Buffalo.
Starbucks partners have repeatedly called on Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to sign the Fair Election Principles that they have proposed.
"We have watched how unfairly the company has been in Buffalo. It is important that Starbucks reconsiders their opposition to the Fair Election Principles and be the company we know it can be," Carter said.
"They call us partners but we need a true partnership. With a union we will have that," Carter said.