Another Ohio Starbucks Wins Vote to Unionize, This Time in Columbus

"The union effort continues to grow because we are stronger together, regardless of how Howard Schultz feels about it."

click to enlarge Employees at a Westerville Starbucks won their union vote. - Photo: Provided by Starbucks Media Site
Photo: Provided by Starbucks Media Site
Employees at a Westerville Starbucks won their union vote.

As Starbucks workers across the country seek to unionize, another Ohio-based store has declared victory.

The Starbucks at 533 S. State St. in Westerville is the latest in the Buckeye State to win its union vote. It is now the first in the Columbus suburbs to unionize, according to a release from Workers United Chicago & Midwest Regional Joint Board (CMRJB), which called the vote a "landslide victory."
In May, Starbucks locations in downtown Columbus and Cleveland became the first in the state to unionize.  And in June, the Starbucks at Fourth and Vine streets downtown became the first in Cincinnati to unionize.

The Westerville Starbucks workers released a statement about their win:

This election would have been a victory for us regardless of the results. Not just baristas but for those who believe the world we live in can change. We’re incredibly proud of the resilience shown by the baristas at our store. We have been through so much together. Through actions big and small, we all took part in moments worth remembering. This store is filled with a young generation of people who are often dismissed as incapable of taking life into our own hands. In a huge way, we have proved that wrong. We, the workers of Westerville Starbucks, took a leap of faith that we could create that change in solidarity with each other.

Since going public, there have been constant promises of new benefits and or improvements to this company that pro-union stores have fought incredibly hard for. This corporation does not stop short of breaking the law, flagrantly committing unfair labor practices in an attempt to silence baristas that speak up and organize. The union effort continues to grow because we are stronger together, regardless of how Howard Schultz feels about it. We will continue to look out for our fellow baristas. We will keep doing what we can to better the conditions of our workplace. We will leave an empty seat at our celebration in case he decides he wants to be there in solidarity with the baristas who run his stores. We are proud of the job we do everyday, and this movement will give our partners strength to continue to create a third place for the city of Westerville.

You can’t spell Westerville without We.

According to a story published earlier this year by Vice, at least 200 Starbucks locations have filed with the National Labor Relations Board to have their unions recognized, and Workers United CMRJB says more than 160 stores have won their union elections.

Starbucks employees across the country have cited concerns including issues with COVID safety measures, burnout and unlivable wages amid the company's record-breaking first quarter revenue growth as reasons for seeking unionization.

Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google News, Apple News and Reddit.

Send CityBeat a news or story tip or submit a calendar event.