Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ – Two Starbucks stores in Santa Cruz voted in favor of unionization, the first in California.
Media reports show that the Starbucks store on Mission and Dufour streets voted in favor of unionization with 15-2 votes. A second Starbucks, located on Ocean and Water streets, voted 13-1 for the union.
Ahead of the vote, Joseph Thompson, a local union leader and candidate in the state assembly, wrote on social media: “We will win despite the defeat of your unions, despite your wrongful dismissals, despite the odds against us, because we, the partners, are united.”
Starbucks stores in Santa Cruz have filed lawsuits against Starbucks through the National Employment Council.
Both cases are alleged to be unfair work practices by senior management at Starbucks locations in Santa Cruz and across the country. The accusations range from surveillance and intimidation to cutting back on revenge hours to union efforts.
Tuesday’s victories added to the momentum of the union campaign, which went public in late August and turned decades of failed attempts to form unions at Starbucks. They come as workers at more than 200 Starbucks stores have petitioned for union elections and more than 50 stores have voted to join the national Workers United union since December.
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.