MILWAUKEE – After submitting a letter to the National Labor Relations Board, employees at the Starbucks Coffee near the intersection of Wisconsin and 16th have become one of the latest stores to unionize with Starbucks Workers United. Employees say they hope to change the conditions they work under.
Ian Shubert is an employee at the store. He described an “aura of subdued anxiety” in the store, as well as the other Starbucks locations Shubert has worked at. He says he feels overworked.
“We are constantly understaffed,” Shubert said. “We’ve had to do entire closing shifts with only two people. We were told to not clean the floor, and to do the bare minimum to get out of the store.”
Xylia Trask is a shift supervisor at the store, and says there is no support for the tasks that Starbucks employees have.
“Starbucks claims to support every partner, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Trask in a statement. “Every partner at this store is struggling in a variety of ways when they shouldn’t have to and we are sick of it. We deserve fair compensation for our work, to feel like we actually have job security, and just basic respect. At this point, unionizing is the only way we can get anywhere near these goals.”
For those working in the food and service industry, Shubert says getting a different job is not a viable solution.
“You come home from a 5 hour shift and feel like you just worked 12,” said Shubert. “You go onto a job site and see more of the same. You’re not sure if any of these will be better.”
Corporate Starbucks is aware of the unionizing and is preparing to have conversations with the employees. They released the following statement in regards to the store at Marquette University.
“As a next step, we welcome the opportunity for partners at our West Wisconsin & 16th location at Marquette University in Milwaukee to vote in a neutral, secret ballot election conducted by the NLRB — which allows all partners to make their own informed decision regarding union representation.”Starbucks Spokesperson Andrew Trull
In their message, Starbucks said they will be following rules set by the National Labor Relations Board, and that they have invested over 1 billion dollars in improving the experience of partners.
TOP HEADLINES FROM THE WTMJ NEWSROOM:
- ‘You gotta know how to know’: President Biden touts “Bidenomics” in Milwaukee
- Four students arrested after fight at Wauwatosa West
- Donald Trump removed from Colorado presidential primary ballot
- Vice President Harris to visit Wisconsin in January
- Waukesha painting company gives Humane Animal Welfare Society a makeover