Employees of a Staten Island Starbucks store have voted to unionize, becoming the coffee chain’s first location in the borough to do so, Starbucks Works United said in a press release Wednesday.
Fifteen employees at the Forest Avenue coffee store voted in favor of unionizing, with zero voting against it, according to Starbucks Workers United.
“I am extremely elated at the news of our store voting to unionize,” Starbucks employee Sean Magundayao said in a statement. “Yet another great victory in the resurgence of labor movements in America.”
In total, seven Starbucks locations in New York City have voted to unionize.
Starbucks’ flagship store in New York City, a “Reserve Roastery” located in Chelsea, became the first in the five boroughs to unionize in April, months after a Buffalo Starbucks store became the first in the nation to do so at the end of 2021. More than 230 Starbucks stores across the nation have voted to unionize since then.
Over on Long Island, employees on Wednesday at another Starbucks store gave the go-ahead to unionizing, voting 20-7 in favor of the move, according to Starbucks Workers United. It marks the 12th downstate store in New York to do so.
In addition to the union wins, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, City Councilmember Tiffany Cabán and other lawmakers penned an open letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to express their dismay around the firings of two Starbucks employees — Joselyn Chuquillanqui and Austin Locke — who were also union leaders in their stores.
Every worker has the right to join a union and make their voices heard — and employers cannot retaliate against a worker for exercising that right.— Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (@gillibrandny) September 7, 2022
I'm standing in solidarity with @SBWorkersUnited & @WorkersUnitedNY & calling on Starbucks to #RehireJoselyn & #RehireAustin. pic.twitter.com/BjDmeZQx2e
New York City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection on Friday announced they are suing Starbucks for violating the city’s “just cause” protections for wrongful termination of Austin Locke.
According to DCWP’s investigation, the Starbucks location illegally fired Locke, a longtime barista and union organizer, in early July — less than a month after employees from the Astoria Starbucks voted for a union.
On Friday, a Starbucks spokesperson said it in a statement, “We do not comment on pending litigation but we do intend to defend against the alleged violations of the city’s just cause law.”