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Rayzor Ranch Starbucks wins union election 17-5

Rayzor Ranch Starbucks wins union election 17-5

Rayzor Ranch Starbucks wins union election 17-5
July 14
14:00 2022

Starbucks’ Rayzor Ranch location recently became the first North Texas store to unionize after winning its election in a 15-7 vote.

Rayzor Ranch, with assistance from Starbucks Workers United, petitioned for an election with the National Labor Relations Board in late March after issues concerning cut hours, understaffing and COVID-19.

Vince Martinez poses outside of the Rayzor Ranch Starbucks on July 11, 2022. Maria Crane

“It was really exciting and nerve-wracking,” said Vince Martinez, union organizer and barista of almost four years. “It was very official. The lawyers weren’t really saying anything and we’re cheering internally because people were still working there. There were still customers just going about their day [while] we’re deciding the fate of our store.”

Rayzor Ranch has received support from the North Texas chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and Dentonites in the form of GoFundMe donations for struggling staff members and social media posts.

Rayzor Ranch is one of 189 Starbucks stores across the nation to successfully unionize. There are currently 313 stores that have filed to unionize, including the Mockingbird Station location in Dallas, which filed on June 29, according to an online map created by More Perfect Union. Allegations of union-busting – an illegal strategy used by companies to deter unionization – have been made by its “partners,” a term Starbucks refers to their employees by.

“[At Mockingbird Station] a partner got fired, and I think she was a part of the committee,” Martinez said. “Everyone was like, ‘This is part of union-busting.”

Mockingbird Station is one of many Starbucks locations around the nation to have accused cooperate of union-busting.

“I know the store in Dallas has been facing serious harassment from their managers – even their store manager,” said barista and union organizer Moo Amassyali.

Mockingbird Station Starbucks management did not respond to requests for comment.

Partners reported management at the location became noticeably stricter after hearing of unionization efforts.

“It’s frustrating,” Martinez said. “It shouldn’t be happening. No partner should be fired over wanting good working conditions.”

In response to accusations of union-busting, Abbey, a Starbucks representative who was identified by only her first name per company policy said “any claims [about] anti-union acts would be categorically false.”

While partners at the Rayzor Ranch location say they did not experience the same pushback from management that Mockingbird Station did, corporate did make them aware they did not support their decision to file for unionization.

“I would say the biggest thing was having letters from our district manager posted in the back room,” said barista and union committee member Alex Wells. “We had quite a few posters in the back [saying] ‘hey, we don’t need unions here, check out this website as to why we shouldn’t unionize.”

Alex Wells poses outside of the Rayzor Ranch Starbucks on July 10, 2022. Maria Crane

While Rayzor Ranch partners say this was done to discourage unionization, Abbey says the company has “Just as much of a right as the union to share [its] perspective and educate partners on what unionization means.”

“When it comes to the current benefits that Starbucks partners have – whether they like them or don’t like them – everything goes on the table during collective bargaining,” Abbey said.

Unionized locations are able to bargain with corporate about benefits, wages and more. This means the benefits and wages non-unionized stores will receive – including the $15 per hour minimum wage Starbucks promised their partners will receive in August – may not apply to unionized stores.

“The benefits that they enjoy and like could very well be taken away at the collective bargaining table,” Abbey said. “We want to prepare our partners for what that means.”

The Rayzor Ranch union is currently in the bargaining stage, where they will work with their lawyer and Workers United to negotiate with Starbucks corporate.

“We are setting up another meeting with Workers United and getting an idea of how everyone feels at the store, what concerns they have and what they want to see in our contract,” Amassyali said.

Featured Image: Vince Martinez’s apron sits on a table outside of the Rayzor Ranch Starbucks on July 11, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Madeleine Moore

Madeleine Moore

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