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Seattle Starbucks Reserve Roastery workers vote to unionize

The flagship location joins several other Starbucks locations demanding "basic rights" while they're working, saying they're "overworked and underpaid."

SEATTLE — Employees at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle voted to unionize Thursday becoming the second roastery to join the union.

SB Workers United said workers approved the vote 38-27. Thirty-five votes were needed for the union to move forward.

Employees at the flagship store in the Capitol Hill neighborhood joined the unionization effort in February.

In a letter to then-President and CEO Kevin Johnson, those who support the unionization effort at the store said the primary goals were to "create an elevated work experience for everyone." Employees at the Seattle Reserve Roastery were the second group of flagship store employees to file a petition to join Starbucks Workers United. Employees at a roastery in New York City were the first to file a petition.

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Baristas at a Starbucks store in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District went on strike Thursday morning “over unfair labor practices after a barista was asked to leave over union apparel.” Employees picketed at the store, located at 505 5th Ave S in Seattle, Thursday morning.

Two Seattle Starbucks locations also went on strike last week. Workers at the Fifth Avenue and Pike Street location and the location on Eastlake Avenue alleged Starbucks was threatening workers and retaliating against union leaders. Workers believe staff is overworked and underpaid.

The pickets follow a larger effort at Starbucks stores in the Seattle area and across the country to hold union elections. At least 140 more stores in 27 states have filed petitions for union elections.

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