US senator Bernie Sanders recently publicly supported the Starbucks workers wanting to unionize. However, according to PBS, Starbucks is opposing the formation of a union of workers in their businesses across three of their locations around Buffalo, New York. The report also suggests that these locations will be the first of over 8,000 locations to be unionized after the vote is finalized.
Bernie Sanders had also supported the employees before. On November 30, the 80-year-old politician tweeted:
"I'm proud to stand with @SBWorkersUnited in their fight for decent wages and decent working conditions."
He further wrote:
"Starbucks is raking in record profits in 2021. They are not a struggling company. So why are they working so hard to defeat workers' efforts to form a union?"
Bernie Sanders hears Twitch Stream of Starbucks workers regarding the appeal to unionize
On Monday, Bernie Sanders heard testimony from four local Starbucks employees in Buffalo, New York, who demanded forming unions in three Starbucks locations in the area. In the livestream, Bernie Sanders said:
"The people on top are doing phenomenally well while, at the same time, working people are struggling."
The senator further added:
"We are going, in the next few weeks and months, to be focusing on the needs and struggles of working people, and we're going to take a hard look at the increasing level of unionization activities that we're now seeing all across this country."
Speaking about the need for unionization, Sanders brought up how the standard of living in the country is going down.
"Our younger generation, through no fault of their own, now has a lower standard of living than their parents. In other words, the American Dream is going backwards; our younger people are poorer than their parents were at the same age.”
Starbucks' response to the demand to form unions
The National Labor Relations Board approved the vote for Starbucks employees to form unions in three locations in and around Buffalo, New York. The votes are set to be counted on December 9.
Meanwhile, Starbucks released a statement in October, where they claimed:
"Our storied success has come from our working directly together as partners, without a third party between us. We remain focused on supporting our partners as well as maintaining open, transparent and direct conversations throughout the process."
In October, the organization announced their new compensation plans for employees' salaries, which included a minimum of $15 per hour rate for compensation. Starbucks also outlined a raise of 5% for employees who have been working for the organization for two years or more. Furthermore, workers who have worked for the retail coffee house chain for over five years can expect a 10% raise.
If the workers at these locations get to unionize with Bernie Sanders' support, it will mark the first union of employees in 50 years of Starbucks' history.