Employees at Birmingham Starbucks vote to unionize

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 5:43 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Around the country, Starbucks coffee shop employees have been choosing to unionize. Workers at more than 80 stores have made the decision. That now includes one in downtown Birmingham.

This is the first Starbucks in the state to vote in favor of joining a union. Some workers see this as a history making vote.

Workers recently voting 27 to 1 to unionize for the store on 20th street in downtown. Some Starbucks employees at this location are hoping this union vote will signal better pay and working conditions among other things. Kyle McGucken, a shift supervisor at the downtown Starbucks tells us he and others feel the union vote is about standing up for themselves.

“Some partners definitely feel a bit like machines. They feel a little worn out. They feel that they just don’t matter. But coming together as a group and stating no, we’re workers. We are partners. We are human. It’s a bit about respect and dignity as much as anything else,” McGucken said.

The vote will need to be certified before becoming official.

Starbucks Media Relations emailed us this statement about the vote:

“We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed. We respect our partner’s right to organize and are committed to following the NLRB process.”


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