Associated Press
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Baristas and other employees at an Oregon Starbucks have voted to unionize, the first in the state and the latest in a nationwide push to organize the coffee shop chain.

The South Eugene Starbucks unanimously approved the formation of a union Wednesday, KLCC/Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

This is the fourth U.S. Starbucks location in the past several days to win their union vote unanimously, including one in Pittsburgh that also voted to unionize Wednesday, the news outlet said.

They are the latest stores, including one in Seattle where Starbucks originated, at which employees have voted in favor of unionizing with Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

All eight Starbucks stores in Eugene have filed for a union election, according to the nonprofit More Perfect Union. The other Eugene locations are among about 180 Starbucks across the U.S. with union votes scheduled in the coming months.

“There’s a bunch more behind us in Eugene, and a bunch more in Portland, we’re so excited to get to work on a contract, and so glad that this went through,” said Jake LaMourie, a barista who helped organize the union effort in recent months.

The first unionization votes came in December at three stores in Buffalo, New York.

LaMourie said next up are negotiations, which could take a year, perhaps longer.

The Associated Press has emailed Starbucks seeking comment on the latest union vote. Previously, spokesman Reggie Borges has said Starbucks “will respect the process and will bargain in good faith,” adding that the company hopes the union does the same.

Starbucks announced in mid-March that CEO Kevin Johnson was retiring and chose former longtime CEO Howard Schultz as interim leader until it finds a permanent replacement. In his previous time with the company, Schultz successfully fought attempts to unionize Starbucks’ U.S. stores and roasting plants.

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