Workers at unionized Buffalo Starbucks walk-off over safety concerns

New York News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Starbucks Workers United says the employees of the nation’s first unionized store, right here in Buffalo, have walked off the job. According to the group, the workers left due to “unsafe working conditions.”

“They have been pressured to work by Starbucks despite understaffing and health concerns,” Starbucks Workers United wrote. “We believe everyone deserves the right to feel safe at work! Partners will return when it’s safe to do so.”

Live on Instagram, a protest could be seen taking place outside the store. Watch the video here.

To unionize, a store needs a majority vote, which means at least 50%, plus one. It was just last month that the Elmwood Village coffee shop became the first of nearly 9,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. to unionize.

During recent votes, Hamburg’s Camp Road location voted against unionizing, while Cheektowaga’s Genesee Street election results are unclear due to contested votes. Several other local Starbucks stores have been taking steps to unionize, too. Those are located at Sheridan and Bailey in Amherst, Walden and Anderson in Cheektowaga, and Transit and French in Depew.

Outside of New York, Starbucks workers in Boston, Massachusetts are also looking to unionize after the results of the Elmwood Village vote.

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