Oak Creek, WI – Early Friday morning, the hourly workers at Starbucks, located at 8880 S Howell Ave, demanded union recognition from CEO Kevin Johnson and local management. According to Workers United (an SEIU affiliate), an overwhelming majority of workers at the store signed union authorization cards and a petition demanding union recognition.
These Milwaukee-area baristas are the first in Wisconsin to join the Starbucks Workers United movement that has swept across the country. As of today, workers at the international coffee chain have filed for elections at dozens of other locations throughout the Midwest, including Cleveland OH, Ann Arbor MI and Chicago IL.
In a letter signed by a majority of the cafe’s workers and e-mailed Friday to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, the staff expressed resolve in organizing their workplace:
“Wisconsin has a rich and complex history in the American labor movement despite former Governor Scott Walker’s historic attack on our state’s unions. We are proudly standing together 11 years later both as Starbucks partners and Wisconsinites to speak up for what we believe in as a store and as a state.”
In response to the news that the Oak Creek workers were demanding union recognition, Pam Fendt, President of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, offered strong words of support:
“My message to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is this: Keep your union busting and anti-worker intimidation out of Wisconsin. In our state, we have each other’s backs, we are union proud, and we are going to be fighting alongside our union siblings at Starbucks in Oak Creek until justice is won, and they have secured their first union contract.”
Across the country, Starbucks workers are organizing with Workers United (SEIU). Please contact MC Floreani at (512)787-7357 or [email protected] to arrange interviews with Starbucks workers.