FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Workers at the Wedington and N Salem Starbucks location in Fayetteville, Ark. have won their union election, joining other store locations across the U.S., a press release announced on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
This Starbucks location became the 261st store in the U.S. to be granted a union election, and the first in Arkansas.
“This is an important step toward our goal of fair representation in the workplace. We are fighting for a true partnership between the baristas and the company. We hope that Starbucks will come to the bargaining table and hear what we have to say,” said Dylan Hartsfield, a shift supervisor at the store.
Partners at the store voted 11-9 to form the union. Sienna Contreras is a barista at the Fayetteville location. Contreras said she and others wanted to form a union to have more of a voice on things.
“More consistent hours, but I know a lot of other partners have other concerns and improvements they would like to see as well,” Contreras said.
Starbucks does not support unions forming in stores and responded to the election with the following statement.
“We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed. We remain committed to our partners and will continue to work together, side-by-side, to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone.”Starbucks Spokesperson
Workers first petitioned for an election in October, becoming the first store to do so. Officials from the National Labor Relations Board then reportedly conducted an election at the store during which 20 out of the 21 employees at the company participated.
Hartsfield said the next step is to work with the company to form a contract.
“’Acting with courage, challenging the status quo, and finding new ways to grow our company and each other as stated in the Starbucks Missions and Values, is exactly what we have achieved today. We sigh a breath of relief knowing that our voices have been heard and that we can move forward together, truly, as partners,” said Justin Bean, a barista trainer at the store.
The first U.S. Starbucks store to win a union election was in Buffalo, N.Y. in December 2021.