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Business & Economics

Butte Starbucks workers announce plans to unionize

Starbucks workers at three stores around Buffalo, N.Y., have voted on whether to join a union.
Charles Krupa
/
AP
Starbucks workers at three stores around Buffalo, N.Y., have voted on whether to join a union.

A Starbucks in Butte is the first in Montana to join a growing number of locations calling for baristas to unionize.

In a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz this week, the Organizing Dommittee of Harrison Avenue and C Street filed for a union election to join Starbucks Workers United. The letter, signed by five baristas, says the push to unionize is an effort to secure “a seat at the table in the decisions that affect our lives and our communities.”

A Starbucks location in Buffalo, New York, became the first to unionize last year. Since then at least 25 Starbucks stores across the United States have joined the union.

A spokesperson for Starbucks says the company will bargain with employees in good faith but that "we are better together as partners, without a union between us."

Butte is the site of Montana’s first ever labor union, when mine workers unionized in 1878.