A Starbucks in Astoria has become the fourth Starbucks location in New York City to join a unionization effort.
In an open letter to Starbucks interim President and CEO Howard Schultz, baristas at the Starbucks at Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street asked Schultz to "recognize our legal right to form a union without delay." The baristas also filed a petition for a union election, according to a release from the labor union Workers United.
A separate letter signed by elected officials representing the area where the store is located - Rep. Carolyn Maloney, state Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Zohan Mamdani and City Council member Tiffany Cabán - expressed support for the effort to unionize the story and reiterated the workers' call for Starbucks to accept the Fair Election Principles.
The Astoria Starbucks workers are the first from a store in Queens to join the unionization effort. They join employees at the Astor Place store in Manhattan, inside the Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Center in Brooklyn, and at the Roastery and the Roastery Manufacturing Store in Chelsea to file for union elections. More than 145 Starbucks locations have filed for union elections nationally, according to Workers United.
According to Workers United, the Roastery will host the first union elections in the city - on March 31 for manufacturing, and on April 1 for retail. They will be in-person elections. Mail ballots will go out for the elections at Astor Place (April 1) and Ceasar's Bay (April 8). Mail ballots for union elections at two Starbucks locations on Long Island - in Great Neck and in Massapequa - will also go out on April 8.
A rally in support of the effort to unionize will be held outside the Roastery at 2 p.m. next Friday, March 25.
In response, a Starbucks spokesperson issued a statement that reads, “We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. 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.”