Starbucks allows employees who work at least 20 hours a week to get health coverage, which is more generous than most of its competitors, and has said it will increase the average wage for hourly employees to nearly $ 17 an hour. ‘here this summer, well above the industry standard. The company also offers to pay the tuition fees of employees admitted to pursue an online bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University, helping it attract workers with college aspirations.
These people, in turn, tend to be sympathetic to unions and a variety of social activisms. A recent Gallup poll found that people under the age of 35 or who are Liberals are significantly more likely than others to support unions.
Several Starbucks workers seeking to organize unions in Buffalo; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; Knoxville, Tennessee; Tallahassee, Florida; and the Denver area seemed to fit that profile, claiming they were either staunch supporters of Mr Sanders and other progressive politicians, attended college, or both. Most were under 30 years old.
“I was involved in the political organization, the Bernie Sanders campaign,” said Brick Zurek, leader of a union campaign at a Starbucks in Chicago. “It gave me a lot of skills.” Mx. Zurek, who uses courtesy titles and neutral pronouns, also said they have a bachelor’s degree.
Len Harris, who helped run a campaign at a Starbucks near Denver, said that “I admire the progressivism, the sense of community” of politicians like Mr. Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York. York. She said she graduated from college and was awaiting admission decisions for graduate school.
And most union supporters took inspiration from their colleagues in Buffalo. Sydney Durkin and Rachel Ybarra, who help organize a Starbucks in Seattle, said workers at their store discuss the Buffalo campaign almost daily as it unfolds and one of them contacted the union after the National Labor Relations Board announced the first results of the Elections in Buffalo in December. (The union’s second victory was announced on Monday, after the labor council resolved disputes over the ballot.)
Ms Ybarra said the victory showed workers that it was possible to organize despite opposition from the company. “The people of Buffalo have become superheroes,” she said. “A lot of us have spent so much time fearful of reprisals – none of us could afford to lose our jobs, to have our hours cut.”