Cleveland Starbucks location could be chain’s first union store in Ohio

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Hourly workers at Cleveland’s Starbucks at 1374 W. 6th St. filed a petition Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a union representation election.

That’s according to a press release.

It is the first time that Starbucks workers in Ohio have asked the Labor Board for a union vote.

In a letter e-mailed Monday to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson and signed by a majority of the store’s employees, workers wrote: “Starbucks partners invest their safety, time, and well-being to serve at the forefront of the customer service industry, and this has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. (However), we do not feel we have been adequately cared for in terms of consistent guidelines or effective safety measures… These experiences have often (led) to burnout, disillusionment, and a feeling that rather than being considered “partners”, we are simply cogs in a machine. …we know we can all do better.”

In December, workers at a Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York became the first employees at any company-owned Starbucks to vote to be represented by a union.

They have not negotiated a contract with the company yet.

Workers have filed for elections in Boston, Knoxville, Chicago, Broomfield CO, Mesa AZ, Seattle and Eugene OR.

Chicago & Midwest Regional Joint Board United Ohio State Director Mark Milko said, “In Cleveland and across Ohio, young workers in the service industry have sacrificed, while the CEOs and big shareholders rake in record profits. Workers United is proud to stand with Cleveland Starbucks partners as they attempt to win a real seat at the table, safety on the job and economic justice. Their fight is our fight, and we’ve got their backs.”

No word on when a decision could come.

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