— Starbucks workers at a store in Green Bay are seeking to unionize for better hours and working conditions, according to union advocate and barista Ajii Rauworth.
In an interview yesterday, Rauworth said workers at the Green Bay location submitted a petition for union representation to the National Labor Relations Board last week, and are now going public with their effort.
“We’ve asked for a spot at the table for a while now,” Rauworth told WisBusiness.com. “We’ve asked and asked, and our voices have been heard but ignored … They have actively encouraged us not to have a voice in this company. And we are no longer asking for this voice in our company, and in our roles, and we are now demanding it.”
A release from the Chicago & Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United shows this would be the fifth Starbucks location to unionize in Wisconsin, following stores in Oak Creek, Madison, Appleton and Plover.
In a statement responding to the unionization push in Green Bay, a Starbucks spokesperson said the Seattle-based coffee chain is “listening and learning from the partners” in stores that are seeking to unionize.
“From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We respect our partner’s right to organize and are committed to following the NLRB process.”
Rauworth, one of the leaders of the union effort who has worked at the Green Bay location for the past nine months, said workers are “looking for better, stable hours.” That’s after Starbucks came out with a policy that requires shift leads to be on call without getting paid for it, according to Rauworth, who argued this is “unfair to the baristas and their schedules.”Rauworth also said cafe workers have been working with outdated equipment, making it more difficult for them to do their jobs.
“We’re looking for just, overall, to be treated better by the company,” Rauworth said. “To be viewed as people, instead of just numbers.”
Rauworth said the Green Bay workers were inspired and encouraged by the Appleton store that unionized in June, adding it’s “less scary, less intimidating” to follow the example set by others. Hundreds of Starbucks stores around the country have filed petitions for union elections since August 2021, and dozens have voted to unionize, according to NLRB data.
“They call us partners; this partnership has to go both ways now,” Rauworth said. “So Starbucks Corporation is going to have some pushback, but we’re strong and we’re going to work together to push through.”
— A Danish company called APX10 is launching its water data analytics platform in the United States after opening its first U.S. location at The Water Council’s Global Water Center in Milwaukee.
According to a release from the water industry organization, the company’s software platform aggregates and analyzes data from water distribution and sewer collection networks for utility staff.
APX10 CEO Ulrich Borup Hansen says opening the company’s first U.S. office is “a dream come true.” He said the business can help wastewater utilities in North America improve the use of data in their operations.
“We expect a lot from the US market and for the same reason we are now making this significant investment in being present locally with our own setup … having our US base in a leading water hub is a great starting point to make this visible,” he said in the release.
Listen to a recent podcast with Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2022/wisbusiness-the-podcast-with-dean-amhaus-president-and-ceo-of-the-water-council/
— State officials tasked with improving children’s mental health are focusing on more social connections to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Linda Hall, director of the state Office of Children’s Mental Health, says the full scope of these impacts aren’t yet well understood and will likely be studied for years to come. But she said levels of anxiety and depression, which were already rising among youth before the pandemic, were only exacerbated by the challenges related to COVID-19.
“We are adopting as a main focus social connectedness of youth,” she told WisconsinEye yesterday during an interview. “And we’re looking at different ways they need to be connected, and how can we all participate in that so that we’re creating the foundations for kids to feel better.”
She explained much of these efforts begin at school, where kids spend most of their time and have access to resources through professionals such as guidance counselors and therapists. But at the same time, Wisconsin faces significant hurdles in youth mental health access, with far fewer of these professionals available than are recommended.
While the standard recommended ratio for counselors is one for every 250 students, Wisconsin’s ratio is 381-to-1. For psychologists, the recommended ratio is one for every 500 students, but the state’s ratio is 826-to-1. For both social workers and nurses, the state has less than half of the recommended number.
Hall said schools often struggle to fill these positions due to low pay and a shortage of mental health professionals. And when professionals are hired to split their time between multiple schools, she said it can be difficult for them to form meaningful connections with students.
Lisa Pugh, host of WisconsinEye’s Newsmakers program, noted in the interview the state’s adolescent suicide rate exceeds the national average, with 14.43 per 100,000 residents versus 13.5 per 100,000 at the national level.
She also said LGBTQ youth in the state are more than twice as likely to seriously consider suicide, and about 55 percent of youth experiencing a major depressive episode don’t receive any treatment. Hall added that percentage could be even higher.
“On average, it’s 11 years until treatment from the first symptoms that are exhibited by kids … that’s a national statistic that we think plays out in Wisconsin,” she said.
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— Anna Wolfe, a reporter with Mississippi Today, told “UpFront” the federal investigation into Mississippi’s largest ever public corruption case is ramping up and it’s “really hard to say” whether Brett Favre could face any federal charges.
Favre, who’s been tied up in the case for several years, has hired Eric Herschmann, a former top adviser and attorney to former President Trump.
“I think the national attention has certainly made him take this a little more seriously,” said Wolfe, whose reporting has broken major developments in the case. “Before, he paid back some of the money he received personally, so he did receive $1.1 million in welfare funds under a sort of advertising contract. We now know that was just a way to get more money to the volleyball stadium project.”
Text messages made public last month show Favre and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant talked about using the public funds to build a new volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi where Favre graduated and his daughter played volleyball.
“He told us by text he didn’t have conversations, he said no when we asked if he had conversations with the governor about the volleyball stadium,” Wolfe said on WISN’s “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “But his main point was, he told me this is economic development, plain and simple. That was his explanation as to why he was communicating with welfare officials.”
See more from the show: https://www.wisn.com/upfront
# 5 things to know about Wisconsin’s all-time high exports
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# FPC Live announces labor and workforce agreements for Deer District venue project
– Wisconsin cows sweep top World Dairy Expo placings
– Equity Co-op offering college scholarships
– UW-Madison freshman enrollment sets a new record
# ENTERTAINMENT & THE ARTS
– A triumphant night of music, memories for Judds’ final tour at Resch
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– Grassroots climate action: conference puts attendees in charge of plan
– The Mississippi River basin is getting wetter as climate change brings era of extreme rain, floods
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– Far Breton Bakery set to rise on Madison’s north side this winter
# HEALTH CARE
– UW-Madison installs naloxone kits to curb opioid, fentanyl overdoses
– Senior living facility planned for Eau Claire’s south side
– FPC Live announces project labor agreement with construction and service partners
– FPC Live reaches agreements with labor organizations for $50M project
– This Green Bay Starbucks is joining others in state to demand union representation
– Generac largest creditor in Chapter 7 liquidation by North Carolina solar-panel firm
– Milwaukee Habitat raises $532,000 in annual gala
– Madison’s Mighty Peace Coffee brews up cups of social justice
# REAL ESTATE
– 5-story apartment plans presented to Wauwatosa design board
– Chenequa home sold for $7 million
– West Allis senior apartment complex sold for $14.85 million
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# PRESS RELEASES
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