Workers at Starbucks in Cottonwood Heights vote to unionize

June 11, 2022 GMT

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (AP) — Baristas at a Starbucks in Cottonwood Heights on Friday officially became the first store to unionize in Utah, joining a growing labor movement of more than 100 organized Starbucks locations nationwide.

After sending in ballots last month, the workers’ vote was certified on Friday by the National Labor Relations Board, with a margin of 11-6, the Deseret News reported.

“I’m so happy that we get to join this broader national movement officially,” said Jacob Lawson, a barista and shift supervisor who organized the effort. “You know, Buffalo, New York, they’ve been front-running this. ... But now that we’re in this stage.”

Two stores in Buffalo successfully unionized last December and nearly 300 have filed in their wake. Since December, nearly 150 stores in 29 states have won union elections, as of Friday afternoon, according to More Perfect Union.

“We’re proud to win,” members of the rank-and-file organizing committee said in a statement. “We’re standing up. Unions aren’t a Band-Aid for bad bosses but a fundamental expression of democracy at work.”

Cottonwood Heights workers will take a few months to “collect (themselves)” before beginning the collective bargaining process, Lawson said.