Some Philadelphia Starbucks stores vote to unionize

This is the first step in an effort to negotiate better benefits, improved safety, adequate staffing and a livable wage.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022
Some Philly Starbucks stores vote to unionize
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This is the first step in an effort to negotiate better benefits, improved safety, adequate staffing, and a livable wage.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Four Starbucks stores in the city of Philadelphia have joined dozens of locations nationwide in unionizing.

This is the first step in an effort to negotiate better benefits, improved safety, adequate staffing, and a livable wage.

"I was like I don't have the time to tell everyone but I just want to shout it from the rooftop: 'We got the union,'" said Amalia Jadeinkeles, shift supervisor at the location at 19th and Market streets.

The four Starbucks stores that voted to unionize are: 1900 Market Street, 600 S 9th Street, 3401 Walnut Street, and 3400 Civic Center Boulevard.

The Starbucks at 19th and Callowhill streets did not vote to unionize. Workers can file for another election in the future.

"I'm a big supporter of unions, big supporter of workers' rights," said Peter Faragasso, who lives in Center City.

Jadeinkeles said she loves coffee and meeting customers. She just wants things like a more predictable work schedule and better pay and benefits.

"I wish today was the end of it. I wish tomorrow we'd go in and we were making $20 an hour, working 32-hour weeks full time. Stuff like that, but we've got a contract to go," Jadeinkeles said.

The Philadelphia Democratic Socialists of America has worked alongside these workers for months. The chair of the local chapter tells Action News Wednesday's votes were part of a greater movement across the country where stores are working on organizing unions.

"These stores unionizing today showed that workers everywhere are standing up in greater and greater numbers to demand better," said Daisy Confoy, communications chair of the Philadelphia Democratic Socialists of America.

About 90 United States Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since December, according to the National Labor Relations Board, and at least 10 stores have rejected the union.

There is another store in Philadelphia currently looking to unionize.

A spokesperson with Starbucks released this statement to Action News:

"The majority of partners at the 19th & Callowhill store voted to keep our direct relationship. The majority of partners at the 20th & Market, 9th & Market, 34th & Walnut, and Penn Med stores voted to be represented by the union. As we have said throughout, we will respect the process and will bargain in good faith guided by our principles laid out in this letter from Rossann Williams, evp and president, North America. We hope that the union does the same."