AUSTIN, Texas — On Friday, employees at the Starbucks on 24th and Nueces streets, near the University of Texas campus, officially became the second Starbucks location in Texas to unionize.
The vote ended up being 10-2 in favor of unionizing. Last week, the Starbucks on 45th Street and Lamar Boulevard became the first location to officially unionize in Texas, giving big hope to other locations.
It's a shakeup the baristas have been grinding months to make happen.
"Not that I am nervous, but it is hard not to be nervous about something like this," said barista Amanda Garcia.
Now that the majority of the workers at the Starbucks on Nueces and 24th streets voted yes to unionizing, they have become the second Starbucks in Austin and the state to do so.
"It's very nerve-wracking because all that, the union-busting that's been going on, it's been creating harder working environments," said Garcia.
Starbucks has been accused of union-busting at locations across the country. Garcia said they have cracked down on the rules at the local shop.
"Now, if you don't clock in on the dot, you are late and people dock off points for that," said Garcia. "I got a corrective action."
Garcia said since filing, work hours have been cut and more workers have had to quit or pick up a second job.
"That's another union-busting tactic," said Garcia. "A lot of people request 25, 27 hours a week and they end up getting scheduled 15 or 10."
The UT junior said it's something other recently unionized Starbucks have pushed through, and they will too. She said that's because what they're fighting for, like better hours, increased pay and transparency, are worth it.
"Workers everywhere deserve to be treated with basic empathy and to be given the power to advocate for themselves," said Garcia.
She said getting the power is only a drop in the cup. Winning at the bargaining table will fill it up.
"Bargaining is another topic, a conversation that's a big one," said Garcia. "That will also take a while."
Garcia said she hopes their efforts will encourage others to take the leap and fight for themselves.
"I'm hoping that when it does go through, seeing that will also inspire all of the other stores in Texas and across the nation," she said.
A Starbucks spokesperson released the following statement on Wednesday:
"We have fully honored the process laid out by the NLRB and encouraged our partners to exercise their right to vote in the election to have their voice heard. Any claims of union busting are false.
"We have responded to partner requests for help with staffing, training or other needs in certain markets. Our local, regional and national leaders have been working with humility, deep care and urgency to create the kind of store environment that partners and customers expect of Starbucks."
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