APPLETON – Hourly workers at the Starbucks on Northland Ave in Appleton on Friday formally petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a union representation election.

According to The Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board (CMRJB) of Workers United (an SEIU affiliate), an
overwhelming majority of workers at the store signed union authorization cards.

These Appleton coffee workers are joining the Starbucks Workers United movement sweeping the
nation, according to a news release from CMRJB.

Starbucks workers have recently elected Workers United to represent them at locations coast to
coast including Buffalo NY, Seattle WA and Mesa AZ.

The filing is significant not only because it is the first store in the Fox Valley area to organize; the workers of the Northland Ave cafe are the fourth in Wisconsin to organize following a Madison store’s announcement last week.

As Starbucks’ workers in Oak Creek and Plover, WI prepare to vote in their union representation elections this month, these Appleton baristas join with them through Workers United in building a statewide campaign.

Workers at the Appleton store signed and delivered a letter to CEO Howard Schultz this morning, writing:

“Over the past year, it has become apparent that the growth of the company is put above all else, even at the expense of those who are meant to grow with it. Within the past months this has become ever more apparent. With hours slashed and rising costs of living impacting us simultaneously, many partners have been struggling to stay afloat.”

In a statement of support, Workers United International Vice President Kathy Hanshew added:

“Starbucks is a multimillion dollar corporation that tries to pride itself on working in partnership with its employees, all while silencing the workers and denying them their right to union representation and a collective voice. Starbucks calls its employees “partners”, but it is abundantly clear that this so-called partnership is one of convenience for the company, that leaves many employee concerns unheard. It is time for Starbucks to do the right thing, acknowledge the voice of their “partners”, and allow their workers to unionize without





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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.