January 26, 2022

Lakeview Gazette

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“Why did the Starbucks CEO win the $ 20 million bonus in the midst of the epidemic?” | Asked union lawyer Kathy Creighton

In the hope that the struggle of American workers will continue Employees of the Starbucks coffee shop in Buffalo, New York, voted to form the first union in its 50 – year history. Coffee is great. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the state body that voted by mail to accept the request of workers in this and the two locations to join under the umbrella of the International Labor Organization, announced the results last Thursday. Services (SEIU). The success of Starbucks workers is particularly striking in the United States Low status of union members in the private sector: தனி 6.3 percent of workers are in the union, Y Connectivity in coffee shops and restaurants did not reach 1.2 percent Of workers.

However, the current situation seems favorable as thousands of workers in various parts of the country are participating in strikes for better pay and working conditions or for the betterment of union members. They also have the support of left-wing representatives of the Democratic Party Bernie Sanders The Alexandria Ocacio-Cortes.

Starbucks failed offense

27 workers From the Starbucks store on Elmwood Avenue 19 people voted in favor of the union. Workers in second place near the municipality of Hamburg voted 12 to 8 against joining the union. Voting in the third store in Cheektowaga, another buffalo suburb, ended at 9/15, although despite seven competitive votes, the NLRB’s review is still pending. “I think these results will set a course Other employees will find a way to force their bosses to listen to their voices and concerns at workHe promised Kathy Creighton, Director of Labor and Industrial Relations at Cornell University, in conversation Page I12.

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Starbucks address It didn’t take long for her to hide her disgust at the results Threatened by the alleged “negative consequences” that would fall on the company. “If a significant portion of our employees are unionized, our labor costs may increase and our business may be adversely affected by other requirements and expectations that will change the culture of our employees, reduce our flexibility and disrupt our business,” the company promised. By statement.

Creighton noted that Starbucks could sit down with its workers and negotiate a “mutually acceptable” agreement between the two sides. “However, Starbucks says it will continue as usual, saying it will not accept workers’ decision to have democracy in the workplace. The employer may refuse to negotiate, which could lead to a five-year lawsuit. At that point, Starbucks expects employees to lose interest, resign or move on with their lives, “said union counsel.

International Chain In a strategy that included, he made more effort to persuade employees to vote against the union Send senior executives to their buffalo shops. From anti-union text messages and emails to weekly meetings with management, workers described a series of threatening actions that warned them that they might lose their benefits or grow within the company.

Ruth Milkman, A working sociologist at New York City University, said what was seen in the buffalo “A reflection of the growing interest among young university-educated workers in the labor system”. However, Milkman believes that Starbucks will continue to oppose the unionization of buffaloes and other places. “They may offer unilateral improvements in pay and even working conditions, but this is different from sharing power formally and signing a collective bargaining agreement,” he warned in the newspaper.

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“This is a historic moment”

The devastation wrought by the Govt-19 epidemic prompted these service sector employees to seek job improvements and initiate unionization processes. “It’s a historic moment,” said Michael Eisen, an 11 – year – old barista at the Elmwood Store. Casey Moore, another young woman who led the struggle, said Only five of the 20 co-workers are men. “I think it’s very encouraging to see other women leading this fight. It’s really exciting,” Moore said energetically at 25.

In the face of Starbucks ‘Titanic attempts to drop the vote, the Democrats’ most progressive wing sided with workers. One of the last to do so was a former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Who held a virtual meeting with several employees, in which he stressed “Young workers are fighting against an economy that only works for the rich”. Democrat Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez, who met with Starbucks union organizers in Buffalo last month, wrote after the results were released: “Nothing smells like morning union coffee”.

Unionization in the United States

One-fifth of the workers in the buffalo area, An area with a strong history of organized labor, Joined the unionAccording to Cornell University: This figure is higher than the national average. Although Attempts to unite Amazon workers in Alabama failedAccording to a Gallup poll in August, support for the unions is at an all-time high of 50. 68 percent of Americans approve of unions.

Calls for strikes against bad working conditions have paralyzed work in a significant number of companies in recent months, including the multinational company. That’s Kellogg, Tractor manufacturer John Deere Or fast food chain McDonald’s. “Public support for the unions is growing. Biden is more desirable than any president in recent history, but the reality on the ground is that it is very difficult to win because there is a huge benefit to management,” Milkman added.

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For his part, Critten warns that controlling income inequality is essential to attacking the root of the problem, and adds: “Why should a Starbucks CEO win a $ 20 million bonus for keeping stores open during an outbreak while workers run it? Is there a risk of getting sick and dying?”