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First in Wisconsin: Oak Creek Starbucks cafe, employees unionize

Posted at 8:22 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 10:39:20-05

OAK CREEK — A Starbucks in Oak Creek is the first in Wisconsin to seek union representation.

Hourly employees at the location on S. Howell Avenue have demanded union recognition from CEO Kevin Johnson and local management.

According to Workers United, an overwhelming majority of the workers at the store signed union authorization cards. As of Friday, workers at the international coffee chain have filed to join Starbucks Workers United at dozens of other locations throughout the Midwest, including Cleveland OH, Ann Arbor MI and Chicago IL.

The letter to CEO Johnson read, "Wisconsin has a rich and complex history in the American labor movement despite former Governor Scott Walker’s historic attack on our state’s unions. We are proudly standing together 11 years later both as Starbucks partners and Wisconsinites to speak up for what we believe in as a store and as a state.”

After hearing about the demand for union recognition, the President of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council issued a statement showing her support.

"My message to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is this: Keep your union-busting and anti-worker intimidation out of Wisconsin. In our state, we have each other's backs, we are union proud, and we are going to be fighting alongside our union siblings at Starbucks in Oak Creek until justice is won, and they have secured their first union contract.”

Oak Creek's baristas are the first in the Milwaukee area to join Starbucks Workers United, and the cafe is the first in Wisconsin.

The news comes a few months after Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee workers voted to unionize with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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