Grand Forks Starbucks Location Becomes First in North Dakota to Unionize

A Starbucks has become the first in North Dakota to unionize, with employees at its Grand Forks store voting 13-10 to join Starbucks Workers United. The Grand Forks store joins over 410 stores and 10,000 workers who have joined the union in the last three years. The union’s growth comes at a critical moment, as Starbucks has been signaling its readiness to reach a first contract with unionized baristas. In February, a step was made to discuss collective bargaining agreements.

Starbucks’ willingness to participate is a major shift, according to Starbucks Workers United, as the company has been accused of engaging in illegal union-busting tactics and refusing to participate in the past. In more than 50 separate decisions, federal administrative law judges have found that Starbucks has committed more than 400 violations of federal labor law, including dozens of unlawful firings, refusing to bargain, and unlawfully providing non-union workers higher wages and better benefits than workers who voted to form a union.

The nationwide movement of unionizing baristas aims to “win justice at work,” including protections surrounding wages, racial and gender equality, fair scheduling, and respect. The campaign is led by Starbucks workers and has won numerous elections in Starbucks stores across the nation.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the company and Workers United agreed on Feb. 27 to begin discussions on a foundational framework designed to help achieve ratified bargaining agreements, resolve certain litigation, and address other issues. Starbucks is eager to reach ratified agreements in 2024 for stores that have already voted for union representation.

Read More @ Grand Forks Herald

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