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Tallahassee: Starbucks workers organize union

By Delilah Pierre

Tallahassee, FL- On January 12, Starbucks workers at 2264 North Monroe Street filed to unionize their store. Employees across the country have been filing to unionize at a remarkable rate, with locations in Oregon, Cleveland, Chicago and New Jersey having submitted petitions as well.

This wave of union activity is especially remarkable in a city like Tallahassee, which has low union density. Right to work laws make it difficult to organize.

While the struggle at North Monroe Street has just started, union organizers have suggested creating a strike fund to receive financial support from other organizations and community members. Although excited about the level of community support, employees are already worried about the potential backlash from upper management.

There is a possibility of retaliation from Starbucks bosses. At a Starbucks location in Philadelphia, the National Labor Board of Relations found that Starbucks illegally discriminated against two employees organizing for better working conditions. They unlawfully spied on their conversations and gauged their support among fellow employees. Eventually Starbucks fired both of them in an attempt to stop future organizing. While they were reinstated and the NLRB held Starbucks responsible for their illegal actions in Philadelphia, conditions could be different in Florida.

Although uncertainty lies ahead, a Starbucks union in Tallahassee is unprecedented and could spread to the entire city.

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