WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Some baristas in West Hartford are looking to unionize the Corbin’s Corner Starbucks. It would be the first Starbucks in Connecticut to unionize and only one of a handful nationwide.

The employees News 8 spoke to say it all started with the pandemic. That is when the breakdown happened. The lack of employees, and just like everywhere else, they are having a hard time finding people to help them out and stand side by side with them serving all the customers.

Starbucks has been overrun with in-person and online orders.

“They’ll be literally drinks all the way down the counter or we’ll have like something broken and it will mess up the workflow entirely,” said Kuzco Gong, a barista.

Starbucks released a statement, in part saying: “The heart and soul of Starbucks is our people, which is why we consider our employees partners. We continue to be committed to providing a flexible and progressive work environment, and treating one another with respect and dignity.”

Employees agree they have pretty good benefits.

“It is a good job, it’s fun, I like my coworkers and I’m actually enrolled in the… they offer free tuition for online university,” Gong said.

But the bottom line is working conditions and better pay.

“We deserve a little more money, the cost of living is going up, inflation obviously, and it’s just not adequate for what we… living in this area of Connecticut,” said Travis Glenney, a barista.

The employees have hung signs in the Starbucks letting their customers know they are in the process of unionizing and they say most customers support the move.

“It’s very important because if you don’t have a good work environment, nobody wants to work there, nobody wants to commune together and most of these companies, everybody is a team,” said Tanaisha Abney of West Hartford.

They say they expect to take a vote in about six weeks on whether or not they will unionize.