Workers at the Willis Tower Starbucks said Wednesday they want union representation, which an “overwhelming majority of workers support.”
“We are forced to work in an assembly-line-like production where coffee and food are served at a fast pace, despite whatever is happening in the building, such as our physical or mental well-being,” barista Melany Alicea said in a press release.
In this press release, the Willis Tower location was described as one of the busiest in the United States
The announcement of the unionization comes a day after Lakeview Starbucks employees voted 11-1 in favor of union, according to voting results shared by organizers. On Monday, Glenview Starbucks workers announced they plan to organize as well.
Yesterday’s vote by the Irving Park Road and Ashland Avenue coffee shop brings the total number of unionized Starbucks locations in the Chicago area to eight. There are also three in Edgewater and one each in Bucktown, Hyde Park, North Park and the northwest suburb of Cary.
But one of the Edgewater locations, located on Bryn Mawr and Winthrop Avenues, is scheduled to close later this month. Organizers argue that this is one of many “union-busting” tactics used by the coffee giant in Chicago and across the US, which union supporters include monitoring, disciplining and firing employees.
Starbucks spokesmen have consistently denied allegations of union busting.
In a statement on the closure of the Edgewater location, a Starbucks spokesperson told WTTW News, “We continue to equip our partners with the training, policies and information they need to address the societal challenges that hit the thresholds of our businesses every day.” exceed. But if these efforts are not enough to keep our partners safe, we will make the decision to close a store, regardless of its sales or union status.”
The Glenview and Willis Tower locations join another Starbucks in Elmhurst currently awaiting a union vote.
Union organizing votes have failed at Starbucks locations in Logan Square, La Grange and downtown. According to the National Labor Relations Board, more than 300 Starbucks locations across the country have held elections for a union, with 80% voting in favour. All have organized at Workers United, a subsidiary of SEIU.
Contact Nick Blumberg: [email protected] | (773) 509-5434 | @ndblumberg