Louisiana Starbucks Employees Unite to Form Union | Business

The employees of Starbucks in Sulphur, located at 142 S. Cities Service Hwy., voted unanimously on Monday to join the national union, Starbucks Workers United. Lizzie Harlow, a shift supervisor at the store, expressed the empowering feeling of the team coming together to make this decision. This store in Sulphur is the fifth Louisiana coffee shop to unionize, marking a significant step for the employees in advocating for their rights and working conditions.

Efforts to unionize began in January shortly after the store opened in November. By February, the team went public with their decision, aligning with 21 other Starbucks locations across the country in a national movement. Traditional communication avenues did not yield the desired results, prompting the employees to take collective action for change.

Sulphur, being a town with a history of strong union presence, gave the employees a sense of confidence in their decision to unionize. The employees recognized that having a union would provide them with a voice in improving their working conditions and overall workplace environment.

The February push led Starbucks to engage in discussions with the union. Following a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board in December 2023 that the company had violated federal labor laws, Starbucks committed to reaching a labor agreement. Harlow was elected as a delegate for the store and will participate in bargaining efforts with the company.

Since the inception of the union three years ago, over 140 stores comprising 10,000 workers have joined Starbucks Workers United. Harlow expressed hope that more stores in Louisiana would follow suit, recognizing the benefits that come with having a union to advocate for the rights and safety of workers across the state.

By Samantha Robertson

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