Bloomington Starbucks Baristas Win Union Election

Written from press release

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — June 18, 2024

In a victory for labor rights, baristas at a Bloomington Starbucks voted overwhelmingly to unionize, becoming the second store in the city and the sixth in Indiana to do so. The vote, held Tuesday night, resulted in a decisive 15-1 in favor of joining Starbucks Workers United.

The Bloomington store’s union bid is part of a larger movement sweeping across the nation. Over the past three years, more than 10,500 Starbucks workers at over 450 stores have unionized. This wave of unionization is driven by a collective effort to secure better working conditions, living wages, and equitable treatment, according to Starbucks Workers United.

“It took a lot of hard work and patience to unionize our café, but ultimately, the choice was easy,” said Sophie Lee, a barista of five years. “Watching my coworkers struggle to stay afloat in a job many of us used to love forced me to take a leap of faith and bet on our collective strength over continuing to suffer in silence alone. Our victory today, along with hundreds of other baristas across the country, shows how deeply and widely felt our concerns are across the company. I can’t wait for the rest of Bloomington to join us!”

Bug West, a four-year barista, echoed this sentiment: “I am so proud of all my coworkers for showing up to vote for our union. I can’t wait for our future together as a unionized store!”

The Bloomington baristas join a burgeoning national movement aimed at improving workplace justice. This includes demands for respect, fair scheduling, and protections for racial and gender equity. The campaign has seen recent union victories in locations such as Santa Clarita, California; Tampa, Florida; Davenport, Iowa; Chanhassen, Minnesota; Stratham, New Hampshire; Salem, Oregon; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Last month, union Starbucks partners convened in Chicago to begin discussions on a foundational framework for collective bargaining agreements. The meeting included 150 in-person delegates and another 250 virtual participants, representing unionized stores across the country. They plan to reconvene later this month.

Since 2021, Starbucks Workers United has facilitated the unionization of over 450 stores in 44 states and the District of Columbia, marking the most extensive unionization effort in any company in the 21st century.

For more information on the union efforts, visit SBWorkersUnited.org or contact Mary Floreani at [email protected].

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