Sunday, May 26

Starbucks and Union Set to Restart Contract Talks After Bitter Standoff

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“It’s been a long couple of years, and it feels like there’s some levity now and a little more lightness in general,” Ms. Eisen said. “All signs point in a positive direction.”

Reflecting the new attitude, over 250 union members plan to attend Wednesday’s session virtually, a way for workers to ensure that all voices are heard. Last year, the union said, Starbucks insisted that the talks be held completely in person.

The union is asking for higher wages and better safety standards, among other issues. Once the two sides agree on an overall framework, individual contracts will be put up to ratification votes by each store. The separate contracts will allow the company and workers to raise issues that may vary by region or type of store, like one that has a drive-through window versus one at an airport.

Starbucks workers began organizing in 2021 with three Buffalo-area stores. Since that campaign began, the National Labor Relations Board has filed numerous complaints accusing Starbucks of taking steps to resist organizing efforts, which the company has denied.

When Starbucks and the union announced that they would return to the bargaining table, the company said it would provide unionized workers with benefits it introduced in 2022 but withheld from union stores, including credit card tipping.

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