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Starbucks shop in St. Paul becomes first in state to vote to unionize

A second Starbucks location at 4712 Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis is still collecting employee mail-in ballots, which will be counted on Monday.

BIZ-STARBUCKS-WORKERS-WIN-UNION-ELECTIONS-1-TB.jpg
Starbucks worker Kaylie McKinley wears a T-shirt and button promoting unionization, outside a location in the 100 block of North Wabash Avenue on April 7, 2022, in Chicago. Workers at a St. Paul store voted 14-1 on Wednesday to form a union, making it the first Starbucks in Minnesota to unionize.
John J. Kim / TNS

ST. PAUL -- Workers at a Starbucks coffee shop near Macalester College voted 14-1 on Wednesday to form a union, making the St. Paul site the first Starbucks in Minnesota to unionize.

The 20 workers will now move on to bargaining their first labor agreement. “They’re officially our newest union members,” said Esau Chavez, organizer with the Midwest regional board of Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

A second Starbucks location at 4712 Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis is still collecting employee mail-in ballots, which will be counted on Monday. Both the Minneapolis and St. Paul locations launched labor drives in February, petitioning local and national Starbucks management to voluntarily recognize their bargaining units, which the employers did not.

Nationally, workers at more than 250 Starbucks shops have filed for labor recognition, up from 70 in December, Chavez said, and more than 25 locations in 14 states have held final votes and joined organized labor.

Starbucks maintains more than 32,000 stores across the world, including upwards of 15,000 stores in the U.S. About two-thirds of the U.S. locations are corporately managed, and one-third are licensed franchises.

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