Starbucks began the year with a hole in the dike after a Buffalo, New York cafe voted to create their own union, a first among the coffeehouse giant’s nearly 9,000 locations. After witnessing that development, Starbucks workers became emboldened with more cafes following suit. The movement now stretches to organizing efforts in about 100 of the company’s cafes (with areas pinpointed in the above visual), including one of the company’s three flagship locations that’s located in Seattle.
Amid the commotion, Starbucks has been accused of firing seven organizing workers in Memphis, Tennessee after those employees entered the cafe after hours to film a TV interview (amid other security-related issues) related to their union drive. For its part, Starbucks stresses that the organizing staffers only represent a small fraction of the total number of their cafes in the U.S.
The barista-bound organizing trend is spreading. Great Lakes Coffee baristas in Detroit are following suit after Collectivo Coffee saw its first cafe location unionize last August.