Employees of three Starbucks cafes from the US town of Buffalo (North New York), a revolution with its attempt to form the first chain union in its 50 years of history began, a struggle of which will be known Thursday, when announced the results of a vote summoned by the workers.
Several members of the Workers' Organizational Committee have met at its headquarters to have everything prepared.
"We only need to win one of the cafeterias, because right now None of the 9,000 Starbucks premises in the United States is organized and only a cafeteria is needed to break that reputation, to break that stigma and inspire other waiters," says Efe Will Westlake, who works in one of those stores.
Westlake, which is confident that the vote will be imposed by the workers who support the union, indicated that in case of defeat, there are three other premises in Buffalo who have requested to vote to syndicate and a fourth cafeteria in the state of Arizona.
The address of the company, which has more than 8,000 premises throughout the country, has tried by all means to frustrate or delay attempts at unionization.
First, trying that the vote will include the twenty premises of the Comarca de Buffalo, instead of the three that request it; Then, with an harassment campaign to these three centers, which has been denounced by its workers, and redressing the efforts to convince employees to vote that no and, finally, pressing to postpone the vote.
Up to this population of 255,000 inhabitants, bordering Canada, numerous company executives have been displaced as part of their strategy to abort union struggle.
The executive founder of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, was one of them and, on November 6, organized an "event for partners", name that the company gives to its employees.
"What the management team in Buffalo has done is what we have always done, we hear, we learn, we improve together, no partner has needed a representative seek to get the things that we all have as partners in Starbucks," he wrote in a letter to the Workers
At that meeting, Schultz also stopped at listing the benefits that the company offers to its "partners", among which highlighted medical insurance, a symbol in a country with very unequal medical coverage.
However, for the Director of Organization of the Union 32 BJ of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Rob Hill, "Large companies will always be against unions because union workers are paid more, they have more rights in the job".
According to the US Government Employment Office, in 2020 the percentage of syndicated workers stood at 10.8% (0.5% more than the previous year), in part because 9.6 million workers, in It has most unreamed, they were dismissed by the pandemic.
A small, but remarkable increase, given the historic downward trend registered in the country, where in 1983 20.1% of the labor force was affiliated with labor organizations.
The level of affiliation falls to 6.3% in the private sector, and barely reaches 1.2% among the workers of cafeterias and restaurants, but "the pandemic supposed an impulse," according to Hill, whose union aspire to join the workers to join the workers aspire of Starbucks.
This impulse, according to Hill was experimented, "in particular, among workers in the Services sector, first-line workers, who now call" essential "and that, suddenly, go by the foreground and is recognized how important they are as suppliers In this pandemic and for the economy and how badly paid and bad treaties that are ".
"Everyone is applauded as essential and valuable workers, but then, to the dessert, they are still paid the minimum wage and without health benefits, without the right to low due to illness. For that, I think there is an understandable anger about all that "He added.
The union responsible, whose organization represents 175,000 workers in East and the North of the United States, indicates that their union already welcomes workers from large companies, but stresses that "these local fights are needed to take these companies to the table of negotiation".
For Hill, the victory of workers "would be huge to inspire other Starbucks and other fast food businesses to join us."
If Starbucks managers have been involved up to the marrow in trying to frustrate attempts to syndicate, with the direct participation of its founder or that of its current Kevin Johnson Executive Director, the wing to the left of the Democratic Party has not hesitated to show Openly his support for the 100 workers involved in this fight, such as the veteran Senator Bernie Sanders and the young Alexandria Occasion-Cortez Congressman.Date Of Update: 09 December 2021, 04:09