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Birmingham Starbucks first in Alabama to vote for union

Out of 33 eligible voters, 27 voted in favor of forming a union, with one against.

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Workers at the Midtown Starbucks in Birmingham voted Thursday to formally organize, becoming the first Starbucks in Alabama to vote in favor of forming a union.

According to voting tallies counted by the National Labor Review Board, out of 33 eligible voters, 27 voted in favor of forming a union, with one against. Once the votes are certified, employees at the Birmingham location will be represented by Workers United, Southern Regional Joint Board.

The Birmingham location, located at the corner of 20th & 3rd Street South, joins an ever-growing chorus of organizing Starbucks locations across the country, with a hundred store locations now having voted in favor of organizing nationwide. Together with a Starbucks on Eastlake Avenue in Seattle, Washington, both locations become the 99th and 100th stores to vote in favor of unionization nationwide. 

Racial discrimination, safety concerns, and harsh working conditions were reasons cited by employees at the Birmingham location in their decision to organize.

“We stand together against daily discrimination, short staffing, and hard labor conditions,” Birmingham Starbucks workers said in an April letter, first reported by Al.com, to Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz announcing their intent to form a union. “As a Store, we have struggled together to overcome an increasing number of high-incident situations, a staggering increase in store business, as well as upholding the standards of our store and the Starbucks mission statement.”

The window for corporate objections from Starbucks, filed through the National Labor Relations Board, runs out later this week.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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