Unionization Saga at Starbucks

Unionization Saga at Starbucks
Case Code: HROB240
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2020-2022
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: Starbucks Corporation
Industry: Diversified
Countries: United States
Themes: Collective Bargaining, Crisis Management & Conflict, Employee Benefits,Compensation Policy
Unionization Saga at Starbucks
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


On July 22, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that the Starbucks store in Cleveland, Ohio, US, had voted to unionize. This was the 200th Starbucks store in the US that had voted to unionize since the first store in late December 2021. Starbucks, a global coffee chain headquartered in the US, had witnessed a wave of unionization across its stores in the US that began in 2019 when workers at the Genesee Street Starbucks in Buffalo, New York (NY), began discussions about starting a union. The workers formally wrote a letter to then CEO Kevin Johnson (Johnson) stating that they had formed an organizing committee of Starbucks Workers United (SWU) at the Buffalo location in August 2021. Starbucks employees (partners/baristas) at two stores out of the 19 in the Buffalo area voted to unionize under SWU in December 2021 and soon the call to unionize began in other locations including Arizona, Washington, Illinois, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, and California. Employees joined SWU and demanded enhanced benefits and better pay..

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