Even though the vote represents only 100 employees, the move follows efforts of workers in several states to gain leverage and increased pay and benefits amidst the current economic climate and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starbucks currently has 235,000 employees in their 9,000 U.S. locations without any union representation.
The western New York workers claim that Starbucks has not adequately compensated them with hazard pay for their efforts during the pandemic and that many longtime workers receive little more than new hires.
Starbucks has implemented two wage increases in the past 18 months with an average wage of more than $12 an hour and $15 an hour for more than half of its US employees.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) refused a request by Starbucks to stop Thursday’s ballot count on the grounds that the vote should be extended to all Starbucks locations in Buffalo.
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