Buffalo: Starbucks employees create their first union in the US | Economie


Workers in two Starbucks cafes in Buffalo (New York) They merged Thursday into a lap filled with screams, leaps and tears after learning of the positive result of the vote to form the first union in the United States of the more than 8,000 establishments owned by the coffee chain in the North American country. . Three institutions separately applied to form unions, but only two were successful. The results have yet to be confirmed, as there were several ballot papers rejected by the parties, but the movement represents a major symbolic boost for the trade union movement into the world’s leading power.

With a great explosion of joy, the twenty workers present broke into two hours of tension and uncertainty that prolonged the counting of votes, which was conducted live and online by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a government body that held a mail-in vote after accepting an application for three coffee shops Affiliation under the umbrella of the union SEIU.

Jazz Brisack, one of the organizers, admitted to Efe that she was so focused on “making sure that the stores stay together” in the face of the company’s attacks against unions that she still doesn’t believe it has worked. “We then hope that Starbucks will stop its campaign of harassment of unions, turn the page and come to the negotiating table, and we can create a contract that we and Starbucks can be proud of,” he concludes.

Workers listened to the announcement in the office they set up to coordinate their efforts, as many local and international media focused after the first big snowfall of winter in Buffalo. This victory comes after a long road, [después de] “What the company has done to try to stop it in the past 90 days, with continued union repression, intimidation tactics, and surveillance,” says Michele Eisen. He has been working in the well-known American series for eleven years. He criticizes, “It was one of the best companies in the country to work in, but working conditions have worsened a lot in the past five years.”

The company fears an increase in labor costs

Starbucks has made no secret of its dissatisfaction with the outcome of the vote. “If a significant portion of our employees join unions, our labor costs may increase and our business may be adversely affected,” the company warned in a statement. The memo added that these union organizing efforts “could have a negative impact on how our brand is perceived and have negative effects on our business, including our financial results.”

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Alan Aja, a professor at CUNY (City University of New York) in New York, stresses the milestone he represents for the union struggle in the United States, especially when the membership level is just over 6% in the private sector and barely as high as 1.2% among cafeteria and restaurant workers. He adds: “There is a wave of trade unions in the private sector, where there has been a decline in trade unions and workers’ rights in general during the past decades, through public policies hostile to deregulation.”

It is also believed, Susan SchurmannD., professor of labor studies and labor relations at Rutgers University (NJ): “This is a huge victory for unions and Starbucks employees,” as well as for the principle that workers can “exercise their legal right to train or join a union, regardless of whether other store employees choose the same path or not.” , he says in comments to CBS.

As SEIU’s 32 BJ organizing director, Rob Hill, explained to Efe this week, unions are seeing a boost “among service workers, frontline workers, and we are now a necessary call-up.” “Suddenly, they came to the fore and it is known how important they are, how poorly paid and mistreated they are,” he said.

Democratic support

Faced with Starbucks’ mighty effort to stop the vote, which has included sending dozens of officials to Buffalo since workers filed a union petition in the summer, the left wing of the Democratic Party has sided with workers.

Senator from Vermont and the leading voice in the sector’s most advanced training sector, Bernie Sanders, congratulated the Starbucks labor union on this “historic” victory. The coffee shop chain, as the presidential candidate in the recent Democratic primary claimed, “should stop investing money in fighting the union and now negotiate fair contracts.” “Workers Starbucks Workers Union They made history. They are a huge inspiration and it is very encouraging to see how people from all over the country come together to defend each other. In solidarity, together, workers can achieve the dignity they deserve.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and young Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have also traveled in person to Buffalo to meet with rogue coffee workers to show their support and express their solidarity.

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