Two Starbucks locations in Massachusetts win the right to unionize

Boston, Massachusetts – Two Starbucks locations in Massachusetts became the first in the state to win the right to unionize.

Two Starbucks locations became the first in Massachusetts to win the right to unionize on Monday.
Two Starbucks locations became the first in Massachusetts to win the right to unionize on Monday.  © REUTERS

On Monday, the Starbucks stores located at 277 Harvard Street in Brookline and 1304 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston became the first two locations to unionize in the state of Massachusetts.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) counted the votes for each location on Zoom with board agent Essie Ablavsky reading each vote aloud.

The first votes to be counted were for the Commonwealth Avenue location. Out of 29 eligible votes, 11 voted in favor of forming a union, with zero votes cast against the matter, and no void ballots.

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Though there were five challenge ballots submitted, it was not sufficient to overturn the 11 votes in favor.

Next, Ablavsky counted the votes for the Harvard Street location. Out of 21 eligible votes, 14 voted in favor of forming a union, while zero votes were cast against unionizing. There were no void ballots.

Two challenge ballots were submitted, but similarly to the Commonwealth Avenue vote, these were not enough to overthrow the 14 votes in favor.

The monumental news comes as nearly 200 Starbucks locations have petitioned to form a union while the company continues to utilize union-busting tactics and retaliation against those who join the "union strong" fight.

On April 9, Sharon Gilman, a Starbucks barista and union organizer in Raleigh, was fired for reportedly breaking a sink in the store's backroom in February. The move came days before her location was set to cast ballots in their union election.

One week prior to Gillman's termination, Starbucks reportedly fired Phoenix union organizer and barista Laila Dalton for using her cellphone to record audio while doing inventory.

Dalton's termination came one day before the NLRB was scheduled to send ballots to store employees for their respective election.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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