November 29, 2022

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Workers at NYC Starbucks and Amazon Go store file petition to unionize

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Workers at NYC Starbucks and Amazon Go store file petition to unionize

Amazon and Starbucks stop Union Busting sign, International Workers Day, United Against Union Busting March and Rally, Workers Circle, Amazon Labor Union, NY Immigration Coalition, Make the Road, NYC Central Labor Council, RWDSU and more community-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, unions, and allies, Union Square, New York City.

Joan Slatkin | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Workers at the Starbucks and Amazon Go store in midtown Manhattan filed a petition for a union election on Friday.

It’s the first Starbucks cafe that uses Amazon’s cashierless technology to try to unionize under Workers United and just the second of its kind. The store, which is located next to Port Authority and on the ground floor of the New York Times building, generates high volume but also has high employee turnover, according to Starbucks Workers United.

In addition to traditional barista tasks, the Starbucks employees also have to help customers navigate the Amazon Go technology without any additional pay, the union said. And some workers told the union that they were involuntarily transferred to the store as the company scrambled for baristas to staff the location.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, workers at the city’s flagship Reserve Roastery entered their fourth day of striking. Employees allege that the store has a bed bug infestation and mold in the ice machine.

There are currently seven unionized Starbucks cafe in New York City. Nationwide, more than 250 company-owned locations have voted in favor of unionizing, although the pace of petitions has slowed down in recent months. None of the unionized cafes have a contract yet, although Starbucks said in late September that it was ready to begin individual store negotiations in October.

Amazon has its own union push, too. Amazon Labor Union won its first election this spring, unionizing a warehouse on New York’s Staten Island. However, it’s suffered two defeats since then, losing elections at a nearby Staten Island warehouse and another one in Albany.

Starbucks is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday.

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