Workers unionize at flagship Seattle Starbucks roaster

Emily Sirisue jumps up to show her support with other Seattle Starbucks baristas after the vote comes in to unionize the Starbucks roastery on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 21, 2022 in Seattle. Workers gathered at Seattle Central College to watch the vote count on a zoom call, projected on a screen at the front of the room. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP)
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SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks workers at the coffee giant’s flagship roastery in Seattle voted Thursday to form a union, the chain’s latest location to form a collective bargaining unit.

The Seattle store voted 38-27 to unionize.

Workers United said 26 Starbucks locations have unionized nationwide. The Starbucks Reserve and Roastery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the business’s second to unionize in its hometown of Seattle.

“As we have said throughout, we will respect the process and will bargain in good faith. We hope that the union does the same,” Reggie Borges, a spokesman for Starbucks, said in a statement.

Starbucks has multiple flagship stores. The Seattle outlet joined the one in New York in forming a union.

“A big part of it is just that we don’t have a seat at the table, we don’t have a voice in our workplace,” said Liz Duran, an operations lead at Starbucks. “People have been pushed to the edge more and more and more throughout recent years, and with the breaking point being over, the COVID pandemic really just bringing workers to a point where you realize the power that we really do have.”