Workers at a Starbucks coffee shop in Bucktown voted 15-1 in favor of unionizing, according to election results released by organizers Tuesday. It’s the fifth Chicago area location to join a union.
With Tuesday’s successful vote in Chicago and another in St. Louis, organizers say there are now 150 union Starbucks locations around the U.S.
The Bucktown coffee shop joins two Starbucks locations in Edgewater and one each in Hyde Park and northwest suburban Cary. All the Chicago-area coffee shops moving to organize have filed for representation with Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) affiliate.
Election results for the Hyde Park Starbucks were released last Tuesday, with employees voting for the union 5-3. But the day also brought disappointing results for the organizing effort, with vote totals for a downtown and a Logan Square Starbucks showing workers voting against unionization.
“I’m happy for us … (but) our victory today was definitely bittersweet, seeing the other stores and seeing people I’ve been working with for so long narrowly miss their counts,” said Jasper Booth-Hodges, an employee at the Hyde Park location.
Employees at a Starbucks in La Grange also voted against unionizing last month.
The movement began last year in Buffalo, New York and has faced intense pushback from the company.
Organizers and supporters have accused Starbucks of aggressive union-busting tactics, including firing and intimidating pro-union workers. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that some company managers have told employees that they could lose trans-inclusive health care benefits if the unionization effort continues.
The National Labor Relations Board has charged Starbucks with a slew of labor law violations. A company representative told WTTW News charges of union-busting are “categorically false.”