Starbucks and workers union reportedly reach major milestone in negotiations

Seattle, Washington - Starbucks reached tentative agreements with the Starbucks Workers United union on multiple key issues during talks to draw up a collective bargaining framework, the two parties said Friday.

Starbucks and its baristas' union have reportedly reached a tentative agreement on multiple key issues for a collective bargaining deal.
Starbucks and its baristas' union have reportedly reached a tentative agreement on multiple key issues for a collective bargaining deal.  © MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

If ratified, the deal would be a Starbucks' first in the US and a major win for the labor movement.

"The two-day bargaining session this week in Chicago advanced several matters within the framework intended to be the foundation of each single-store contract," the two parties said in a joint statement.

"We are pleased that the matters discussed were grounded in the needs and concerns of both the company and union-represented partners," they added.

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They said they had reached an agreement in principle on a number of issues, including job protection, and support and training for unionized Starbucks employees.

"We are proud of our progress to date," they continued, adding that the negotiations between the two sides would continue.

The rise of Starbucks Workers United

Starbucks Workers United now represents more than 10,000 employees across 43 states and Washington DC.
Starbucks Workers United now represents more than 10,000 employees across 43 states and Washington DC.  © SAUL LOEB / AFP

The goal is to establish a "foundational framework" on key issues such as wages, scheduling policy and access to health care, the Starbucks Workers United said in a statement on April 23.

Once this framework is agreed, contracts would then be negotiated by each individual store and ratified accordingly, according to Starbucks.

The drive to organize was launched back in August 2021 and has been a huge success, with the union now representing more than 10,000 employees at over 425 locations in 43 states and Washington DC.

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Starbucks owns nearly 10,000 coffee shops in the United States, and more than 900 in Canada, employing around 200,000 people.

In addition to Starbucks Workers United, the coffee giant is also negotiating with other unions representing employees in the US and Canada, including the powerful International Brotherhood of Teamsters in one branch in Pittsburgh, and United Steelworkers in 13 branches in Canada.

Starbucks has been charged with myriad labor abuses, including persistent union busting and unfair dismissals.

Cover photo: MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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