Starbucks' (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report bid to stop a union vote count scheduled for Wednesday in Buffalo, New York was rejected by the National Labor Relations Board, allowing eligible employees in the area to go ahead with the vote.
About 100 workers are eligible to vote across three stores in the Buffalo market that has 19 locations.
“We just want a voice in our workplace and despite the money Starbucks has spent on lawyers trying to stop that, the NLRB is telling us we have a right to this vote,” Jaz Brisack, a Starbucks employee and activist at one of the stores that has voted, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.
Starbucks had been seeking to overturn a ruling that allowed store-by-store elections at the three Starbucks locations in the city.
CEO Kevin Johnson isn't a fan of the unionization efforts at some of the company's cafes in the Buffalo area, saying that unions would disrupt the relationship between the company and its employees.
“It goes against having that direct relationship with our partners that has served us so well for decades and allowed us to build this great company,” Johnson said in an interview Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Despite that declaration, Johnson also said that Starbucks "respect the process that is underway and, independent of any outcome in these elections, we will continue to stay true to our mission and values," in an open letter to employees Tuesday.
Workers are seeking better staffing, training and pay, particularly for employees who have been with the company for a while.
Starbucks shares were rising 2.65% to $116.38 per share Tuesday afternoon.