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Beyond the Dome: Starbucks Workers in Buffalo Vote to Unionize

The Starbucks on Elmwood in Buffalo voted to unionize today, making history as the first of over 9,000 locations in the United States to do so. The unionized workers are joining Workers United, an affiliate branch of Service Employees International Union, according to The New York Times.

With the official result announced by the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday, the election took place through mail-in ballots, and workers at three other Buffalo-area stores filed the paperwork needed to hold an election, although it is unknown when those votes will be taking place.

Starbucks has argued that their workers receive some of the best wages and benefits in the country, and that their workers do not need to unionize. But workers have expressed dissatisfaction with understaffing and lack of training, both of which led to the decision to try to unionize back in the summer.

Union leaders in Buffalo are hopeful that this will inspire more stores around the area to vote for unionization. Additionally, other Starbucks coffee shops around the country are looking to Buffalo as an example for the future of their stores.

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