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Starbucks store in Superior becomes first in Colorado to unionize

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-23 19:33:14-04

SUPERIOR, Colo. — Employees at a Starbucks store in Superior voted Friday to unionize as they fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions.

"After witnessing [a store in] Buffalo unionizing on December 9th, I decided, 'Screw it, why don't I try my location?' shift supervisor Alendra Harris said.

Of the 14 employees at the store on Rock Creek Circle and Coalton Road who participated in the vote, 12 voted in favor of joining Starbucks Workers United.

In addition to the normal perks joining a union brings, Harris says they also want to see some finer points on a contract with Starbucks, like getting compensated when employees don't show up for work.

"If six people are scheduled to be on the floor and only four people show up, then those two people who didn't show up ... their wages are reabsorbed, [whereas] we have to now output work of six people," Harris said.

They also want to have tips expanded from just cash and have wages increase during periods of inflation.

Customers Denver7 spoke with are in support of Friday's vote.

"I think it's pretty awesome. It gives them more power within their larger corporations, and I think that they'll have opportunity for more fair wages," a customer said.

Within the next few months, Harris and her team plan to draft a contract. Whether Starbucks will accept it is another story.

"With the immense and kind of subtle nature of their union busting, I don't imagine that they're going to cave, but who knows, maybe they will. Maybe they will recognize it," she said.

A Starbucks spokesperson sent Denver7 the following statement:

“From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed. We respect our partner’s right to organize and are committed to following the NLRB process.”