Santa Cruz Starbucks becomes first in California to unionize

Starbucks, Valley Plaza Mall, Bakersfield (FILE)
Posted at 11:09 AM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 14:09:30-04

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KERO) — A Santa Cruz Starbucks became the first in California to unionize but it was quickly followed by another store there.

The union vote was 14 in favor and one opposed. That's well above the two-thirds majority required.

In December, the first Starbucks location to unionize among its 8,800 company-owned stores was in Buffalo, New York.

Wednesday, another Santa Cruz location decided to vote in favor of the union joining about 50 nationwide. Overall 237 company-owned stores have filed petitions with the national labor relations board to date. Union representatives say the next step is to negotiate a good contract.

"Now after winning it's on to the next fight which is going to be negotiating a good contract to help organize not only workers here but help better organizing happen across the state," said Joe Thompson, a shift supervisor at the Ocean Starbucks.

In response, Starbucks says it is committed to following the process set out by the National Labor Relations Board. The coffee giant did say it prefers to work directly with its employees.