Workers at a Starbucks in Bloomfield Township seek to unionize

Ten Starbucks stores in Michigan have already voted in favor of unionizing

click to enlarge Ten Starbucks stores in Michigan have voted to unionize. - Shutterstock.com
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Ten Starbucks stores in Michigan have voted to unionize.

A Starbucks store in Bloomfield Township petitioned to form a union Friday morning as the labor movement continues to gain momentum among baristas at the coffee giant.

In an email to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Friday, the workers at the store at 6420 Telegraph Rd. complained of low wages.

“Our wages are next to nothing compared to the massive profit that Starbucks generates each quarter,” the employees wrote. “Unionizing is the only course of action that partners can take to ensure that their rights as laborers are not infringed upon, and it is the only process in which we are guaranteed a seat and a voice at the table.”

An “overwhelming majority” of the workers signed union authorization cards, according to Workers United.

The petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board. Once approved, workers can hold an official election to unionize.

“Starbucks is a multimillion dollar corporation that tries to pride itself on working in partnership with its employees, all while silencing the workers and denying them their right to union representation and a collective voice,” United Workers International Vice President Kathy Hanshew said in a statement. “Starbucks calls its employees ‘partners,’ but it is abundantly clear that this so-called partnership is one of convenience for the company, that leaves many employee concerns unheard. It is time for Starbucks to do the right thing, acknowledge the voice of their ‘partners,’ and allow their workers to unionize without interference.”

At least 200 Starbucks stores nationwide — and 10 in Michigan so far — have voted to unionize. A Starbucks store in Mount Pleasant also petitioned to form a union last week.

In May, a store in Grand Rapids became the first Starbucks in Michigan to vote in favor of unionizing. Since then, Starbucks stores in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Lansing, Clinton Township, Flint, and East Lansing have voted to unionize.

Earlier this month, the Starbucks store in Macomb County's Partridge Creek mall temporarily shut down when its union workers went on strike over a dispute.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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