Get your expressions of stunned awe ready here, because the Starbucks union has reached a truly amazing milestone: 200 unionized Starbucks stores. Of those, 52 voted unanimously to unionize, labor reporter Steve Greenhouse notes, with the union winning about five out of six stores to vote.
Last summer, when the organizing drive kicked off in Buffalo, unionizing one corporate-owned Starbucks seemed like a long shot. (Some Starbucks stores in airports and other locations are already unionized.) When the first Buffalo store voted yes, it seemed—and was—monumental. This momentum is historic and astonishing.
But management remains viciously opposed to just … working with its workers. The stores the company has recently closed show how it is targeting union stores for closure: “3% of Starbucks stores nationwide are in the process of unionizing,” More Perfect Union reports. “Yet somehow, 30% of the stores Starbucks is closing have active union campaigns.” That’s in addition to the company’s campaign of harassment and illegal firing of worker-activists, which is taking a toll.
Between the historic string of wins for the union and the company’s cruel and often illegal union-busting campaign, we’re seeing both the possibilities of building worker power in the United States and one of the key reasons it’s so difficult.
● Trader Joe’s is facing a first-ever union vote in Hadley, Massachusetts, in the coming week, and in a clear response, it announced it’s raising pay by $10 an hour on Sundays, along with other pay increases and more sick time.
● Planned Parenthood workers in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska voted to unionize by a 238 to 26 margin. That follows workers at four Massachusetts Planned Parenthood locations joining a union earlier in the month.
● Nurses in the U.S. are suffering “moral injury,” Kari Lydersen writes.
● Many pet hospitals in the U.S. are owned by Mars—as in the candy maker—and conditions for workers are abysmal, Jarod Facundo and Brian Osgood report at The American Prospect.
● How educators in Brookline, Massachusetts, won an illegal strike—in the words of Maggie Canniff, a Brookline kindergarten teacher.
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