Appleton, WI – On Thursday afternoon, Starbucks workers from the Northland Ave location gathered to observe the National Labor Relations Board count their ballots in a union representation election. These workers petitioned the board for a representation election on April 8th of this year and on Thursday the 16th in a victory of10 to 7, they won.
These Fox Valley baristas were the fourth in Wisconsin to join the Starbucks Workers United movement that has swept the nation. Now, they join partners in Milwaukee and Plover as victorious union baristas. As of today, workers at the international coffee chain have filed for elections to be represented by Workers United at over two hundred Starbucks locations across America and won representation in over 160 stores. Throughout the summer, more stores across Wisconsin and the country will continue to elect Workers United as their union and begin bargaining for a contract.
In their initial letter to local management and CEO Howard Schultz, workers at the Northland Ave cafe expressed their resolve in organizing and the material conditions that drove them to file:
“We use the term partners within the company with great conviction. We work together towards the same goal, we share the same struggles and we understand one another at our store, and within our community. However, the word partner has lost its meaning in the context of our relationship to corporate. Since last year we have dealt with unsafe working conditions, dismissive attitudes from management, and a work-life balance incompatible with human happiness and wellbeing. Throughout all of this, we are drastically undercompensated for our labor.”
As workers in Appleton celebrate their victory, more Starbucks workers across wisconsin continue to organize and stand up for better wages, improved benefits, and democracy at work. Across the country and throughout the Midwest, Workers United is fighting for Starbucks baristas building better, safer workplaces. Please contact MC Floreani at [email protected] to arrange worker interviews.