DANBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A Starbucks store in Danbury has filed to unionize — becoming the fourth shop in the state to join the national campaign to fight for better working conditions.
The store, which currently sits at 67 Newtown Rd., has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize with Starbucks Workers United. The national campaign, which includes 300 stores across the U.S., asks for better working conditions and fights against Starbucks’ hour cuts, inadequate staffing, and disregard of partner safety.
The baristas of the Danbury store stated in their letter to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan that they decided to file for unionization to “nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection,” which inevitably falls on the “fair treatment of partners in stores across the nation.”
“I am more than eager to unionize and finally see change in this company. We are tired of working more and more for less and less,” barista Parker McNerney said. “I believe that we are deserving of living wages, fully staffed shifts, sufficient hours and reasonable working conditions.”
The Danbury store’s decision follows suit of others in the state, including Branford, Vernon, and West Hartford.
Within 12 months, Starbucks Workers United formed more unions than any U.S. company in the last 20 years, despite the coffee giant’s union-busting efforts.
A Starbucks spokesperson released the following statement to News 8:
We’ve been clear in our belief that we can achieve more together by working side-by-side with our partners. As a result of the direct employment relationship preferred by more than 97% of our partners, we continue to work to reinvent and improve the Starbucks experience. Over the past year, we have announced nearly $1 billion in partner-focused investments, which have been implemented broadly, where allowed by law, and include:
- Investments in wage, bringing the average wage for a partner in the U.S. to $17.50 per hour.
- New technology that enables tipping on credit and debit card transactions.
- A new incentivized savings program in partnership with Fidelity designed to help partners in case of unplanned financial challenges.
- A new student loan debt program to empower partners looking to find the best ways to address their college debt management obligations.
- A new increase in sick time accrual ratios for our partners.
- An update to the existing family expansion reimbursement program aimed to assist partners with the costs of growing their families.
We’re aware that a subset of partners feel differently, and we respect their right to organize and to engage in lawful union activities.
At those stores where our partners have chosen to petition for a union representation election, our focus is to ensure that they can trust the process is fair and their voice is heard. We hope that all parties will respect our right to share factual information and our perspective with partners—just as we respect the union’s right to do so—so that partners are able to make an informed, balanced decision regarding union representation.
Importantly, Starbucks has fully honored the process laid out by the NLRB for single-store union representation elections, has encouraged partners to exercise their right to vote and has recognized the outcome of properly conducted elections. We look forward to meeting Workers United in-person to begin the single-store collective bargaining process.