SEATTLE — Starbucks Employees in Seattle have filed to hold unionized elections.
In a statement released Monday night, Seattle employees stated, “We stand with partners around the country who are organizing to make Starbucks a better company. Starbucks started here in Seattle 50 years ago and we intend to make the next 50 even greater with a union."
In a letter to Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson, union organizers said they see unionizing as a way to "grow and challenge the perspective of what Starbucks is and can be. Unionizing, they state, is not a reaction to "specific policies, events, or changes, but rather a commitment to growing the company and the quality of our work."
"We see it as a way to create a future for all partners to be proud of. By signing onto these principles now, Starbucks can prove itself a true partner in this mission and rewrite the future for workers, one with greater justice, equality and purpose," the letter ends.
The move comes after employees at a Buffalo, New York Starbucks made history by voting to unionize with a vote of 19-8. Votes were counted by a local representative of the National Labor Relations Board. This is the first Starbucks store in the nation to vote for union representation.
Starbucks announced it would negotiate in good faith with the workers who agreed to unionize. In a bargain letter sent to all U.S. partners, Executive Vice President Rossann Williams said that the company hasn’t wanted unionization, but respects the legal process and wants to work with those in Buffalo who voted in favor of union representation.