Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Starbucks Unionization Battle Continues to Gain Momentum

The Starbucks unionization wave continues as more workers fight to unionize.

Molly Rosenzweig

February 14, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Photo: Joe Rondone/The commercial appeal

After workers at a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, successfully unionized the first Starbucks store in the United States in December, organizing at the coffee giant has gained momentum as more and more stores are seeking to unionize. By January, another store successfully unionized, with others filing for votes. As of February 11, 78 stores in 23 states have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold unionization votes, after management refused to recognize the union. The workers’ demands include better wages, working conditions, and proper Covid safety measures.

Starbucks has responded with union-busting. Last week at a Memphis location, seven workers key to the union organizing effort were fired for allegedly violating “safety and security” policies. Protests were held at that location the next day. Other anti-union tactics include surveilling workers, forcing workers to attend meetings in which executives attempt to discourage them from organizing, and even temporarily closing stores.

Starbucks brands itself as progressive, pledging to achieve “carbon neutral green coffee” as an example, but a progressive veneer doesn’t make them friends to workers. A worker from a Starbucks on Long Island, New York, elaborates on this: “They call us ‘partners’ and create an image that they care about us and that we have a voice and can speak about our concerns. But every time I have raised a concern, I have been ignored or vilified.”

Democratic Party politicians have paid lip service to unionizing Starbucks workers via tweets, visiting locations fighting to unionize, and even signing a letter of “solidarity” with the workers. But supportive words don’t do anything tangible to help the workers in their fight against the bosses. Democrats persistently show that they are no friends to workers. A movement of the rank and file will be the ones to unionize this employer. They can be a great example for how to build a movement of the working class that is not beholden to any false “friends,” but is self-organized to fight.

Facebook Twitter Share

Labor Movement

Several workers hugging in front of a Chipotle Store

The Unionization Wave Continues: Workers In Maine Have Organized the First Chipotle Store in the Country

Workers at an Augusta, Maine Chipotle have formed an independent union: Chipotle United. This is a clear indication that the unionization wave that started with Starbucks and Amazon is only growing stronger.

James Dennis Hoff

June 22, 2022

U.K. Railway Workers Begin Largest Strike in 30 Years

Amid high inflation, tens of thousands of railway and subway workers across the United Kingdom have declared at least three days of work stoppages to demand wage increases and other protections. Transport across much of the region has ground to a halt.

Protester holds a sign that reads "Pro Union, Pro Choice"

Roe Is About to be Overturned: Organize With Your Co-Workers to Fight for Abortion Rights

Roe v. Wade is about to be overturned, marking the biggest defeat of the feminist movement in the past 50 years. We need to organize in rank-and-file committees to mobilize for reproductive rights.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

June 20, 2022

‘It’s Devastating’: NYC Schools Face Enormous Budget Cuts

Left Voice publishes an interview with a teacher at New York City’s MS 839, who has been organizing with his school community against the city’s school budget cuts.

Emma Lee

June 20, 2022


We Need Socialist Feminism. Join Bread & Roses

Faced with reactionary attacks from the Right and increasing economic and political crisis, we urgently need a feminism that fights for all the oppressed and exploited. We need a feminism that harnesses our power as those who make society run to fight for a better future. We need socialist feminism. Join Left Voice in building Bread & Roses today.

Left Voice

June 24, 2022

Unions, Left, and Activist Groups in New York City Organize Coalition and March in Response to the Supreme Court’s Decision to Overturn Abortion Rights

A new coalition of over 30 left groups, rank-and-file workers organizations and unions, and activists including Left Voice, Starbucks workers, teachers, socialist and housing justice organizations, and others have come together to organize a march and rally today in response to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and to protest the attacks on abortion rights by the State and the Right.

Left Voice

June 24, 2022

Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade. Organize, Mobilize and Fight Back.

Join Left Voice and a coalition of unions, left, activist, and reproductive rights organizations for a rally and march in New York City to defend the right to an abortion. Gather at 6:30 pm in Washington Square Park.

Left Voice

June 24, 2022
Members of Trotskyist organization Revolution Permanente at a protest.

Trotskyists in France Are Reconstituting a Fighting Revolutionary Left. There Are Important Lessons for the United States

The Far Left in France, which has grown complacent at best and has crossed the class line at worst, is being resuscitated with revolutionary politics thanks to the efforts of Révolution Permanente — which include launching a new organization. There are lessons for the United States in what has happened in France and in the opportunities to come.

Scott Cooper

June 23, 2022