Jun 07, 2022
Seven workers at a Memphis, Tennessee Starbucks who were fired earlier this year after starting a unionization campaign declared victory Tuesday after employees at the store overwhelmingly voted in favor of forming a union.
"The Memphis Seven have been vindicated."
Amid a nationwide tsunami of Starbucks worker organizing, employees at the company's store at the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Highland Street voted 11-3 to unionize, according to More Perfect Union.
"The Memphis Seven have been vindicated," the outlet tweeted following the vote. "The blowout victory comes four months after Starbucks illegally fired seven pro-union workers. A historic victory."
\u201cJustice for Worker. Everywhere\n\nMemphis is rich in Union history, and we\u2019re honored to be a part of it.\n\nThank you, #Memphis ,and thank you for all of the workers we\u2019ve met.\n\n(photo credits: Patrick Lantrip, Daily Memphian)\u201d— The Memphis Seven (@The Memphis Seven) 1654626295
The seven former employees were fired in February after they launched the unionization effort. Starbucks claims they were terminated for violating company policies, but the ex-workers say the move was in retaliation for their labor organizing.
Due to a pending National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case, the seven former workers were able to vote in Tuesday's election, after which they held a press conference.
"This is important to us; we know it's bigger than us," Nabretta Hardin told reporters. "I just really want to congratulate the workers at our store. Those workers down there, they are awesome. They didn't have to do this for us. They didn't have to do this for themselves. They could've left. I'm so filled with joy and so excited we are a unionized store."
\u201cIn February, Starbucks illegally fired seven pro-union workers at a store in Memphis, TN.\n\nThey did not back down. They continued to organize. And today, the store won its union election.\n\nHere\u2019s a message shared with us today by the Memphis 7:\u201d— More Perfect Union (@More Perfect Union) 1654625176
Matt Breunig, founder of the crowdfunded think tank Peope's Policy Project, tweeted Tuesday that "Starbucks is getting wrecked."
According to the NLRB, more than 100 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize and over 270 union petitions have been filed by company workers in 34 states.
On Tuesday, workers at the Stuyvesant Plaza Starbucks in Albany, New York voted 15-0 to form a union. Employees at four Ann Arbor, Michigan Starbucks also unionized on Tuesday, as did two Seattle locations and a store in Lawrence, Kansas.
Starbucks workers seeking to organize have been met with union-busting and other retaliatory tactics by the multibillion-dollar corporation.
The NLRB has filed numerous complaints against Starbucks, including one last month that accuses the global coffee giant of more than 200 federal labor law violations.
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