What Starbucks’ first contract means for employees everywhere

Today, employees at the Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York, voted to form a coalition, making it the first of more than 8,000 Starbucks locations in the US to merge. The second Buffalo constituency voted against the deal; one in three had the majority of the votes in the coalition but, due to several problems with individual votes, the results are not final.

For employees at Starbucks at the contract store, this means they are starting to discuss fair pay, benefits, and workplace. For anyone, this could lead to a greater partnership in the US – either in many Starbucks neighborhoods or elsewhere – because of the company’s popularity.

“Sometimes the beatings and the success of the negotiation process can be contagious,” said Johnnie Kallas, a PhD representative at Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, which was with the party before Thursday’s vote. “We saw this in 2018 when teachers went on strike. They started in West Virginia; quickly spread to North Carolina, Arizona, Oklahoma, and other countries. ”

He added, “[This vote] could encourage more workers across the country in smaller groups to fight for union rights. “

It is unclear how organizations are operating in the United States at the moment, due to the lack of available dataset, says Kallas, a project manager. a tool that monitors contract actions the whole world. In his estimation, there have been 243 demonstrations up to November this year, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just around the corner. wrote 13 demonstrations (The agency only collects strike information that includes more than 1,000 employees). The BLS number would not include, for example, the collision of 700 nurses in Massachusetts earlier this year. Even so, the number of major shows the BLS counts has declined since the 1970s.

We no longer have the membership data of the 2021 organization. What we do know is that the proportion of Americans in organizations is declining over the years, due to the difficulty of forming alliances. But in 2020, it changed slightly 11 percent. In secret categories, the rate is about half that. The number of corporate grievances referred to the NLRB has also decreased in recent years, though Labor Minister Richard Griffin, a former chief of staff at the National Labor Relations Board, said the recent increase would not be reflected in the closure of the organization. plague.

But there are reasons to believe that alliances and consolidation alliances have become more popular since the epidemic began, which has led many Americans to reconsider their relationship to work.

Despite the decline in union membership, Americans have shown positive attitudes about job creation over time. Union sentiment is the highest in the US, with 68 percent of Americans supporting organizations, according to data from Gallup. The last time the ratification agreement was reached was 1965.

Workers also have opportunities in a tight workplace where employers struggle to find enough workers. A population of 4.4 million Americans quitting their jobs in September, and the corresponding number did the same in October, according to recent findings. This has forced employers to raise wages, especially for some low-wage earners in industries such as a time for relaxation and hospitality, as well as providing other good work practices, including long-distance work, for other employees.

There have been a number of recent collaborative efforts that are bringing organizational challenges, including companies such as. John Deere and In Kellogg. But maybe more the highest bidder has been on Amazon, the second largest business employer in the US. A coalition vote in Bessemer, Alabama, failed earlier this year, but organizers cast a new vote after the National Labor Relations Board ruled. Amazon unfairly pressured storage staff not to enter into a contract.

This is consistent with the broad approach. “Companies that work unfairly with increasing frequency from the 1970s onwards, including shooting directors, holding anti-union meetings, and recruiting other replacements during the strike,” said Shelly Steward, Future of Work chief executive. Initiative at the Aspen Institute. .

The alliance has also been strained by the growing number of governments.

Steward observes: “In the 20th century, labor laws favored employers more than workers.

However, current laws are working to eliminate barriers. The PRO program, which is currently in the Senate, could make it easier for workers to unite and could impose tougher penalties if employers try to thwart such efforts. It can also allow contractors and staff in gigs – a wider range of staff – to work with traditional staff.

Even at Starbucks, whose contract was formed by Workers United Upstate New York, these votes are just the beginning. Three more stores in Buffalo, a city characterized by its high level of cooperation more than ever before, they have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to mediate, as is the case in Mesa, Arizona.

This also opens the door to greater cooperation in areas he calls incompetent, such as rest and hospitality.

This is a new concept even for field workers.

“My father is in the teachers’ union, but I have just reached an agreement with teachers and nurses and especially the construction workers in the construction industry,” Casey Moore, a Starbucks barista in Buffalo, told a briefing. “So when I first started, I was like, ‘Really, a union of baristas?’ But as I learned more about it, I began to wonder, ‘Why?’ There is no reason why baristas should not enjoy the benefits and benefits that some employees get. ”

Commenting on his experiences so far, he said, “Every day we learned how difficult it is to form a coalition in this country and the challenges we face are very difficult. . ”

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