Tallahassee: Starbucks workers move forward with union drive
Tallahassee, FL – On February 9, Starbucks workers and local organizations rallied to announce an effort to unionize at the Starbucks here on Magnolia Drive.
“There’s a disconnect between management and local stores, it really just comes down to the fact that workers should have more voice in the companies they work for. We hope that our effort to unionize will inspire others,” said Calum Johnson, a barista and leading organizer of another Tallahassee Starbucks unionizing at John Knox Road. “We’re just trying to do what’s best for our store, and if any other stores in our district try to unionize, like Magnolia has, we will support them. We are here for all our stores in the district, whether they unionize or not.”
Some workers cited Starbucks’ COVID policy as a major reason they got involved in the union struggle. “When I got COVID, I had to use my sick time, about half of it to stay out for the two remaining shifts I would have been working, and I feel like it's such an unprecedented time we should get an expansion on that as well,” explained Elijah Reid, a barista. He went on to talk about the difficulties of working while understaffed.
“It’s very difficult for us to service customers properly, especially in the morning when we have a lot of mobile orders coming in and not enough workers on the floor and not enough machinery to keep up with it, because oftentimes we have to refund customers which I think is unfair to them and is stressful for us because then they’re upset,” said Reid.
Calum Johnson demanded better treatment from Starbucks, and an end to using tactics to stop union organizing: “I believe we could start by not scheduling meetings to give us misinformation and some intimidation, that’s what management can do.”