First Dallas Starbucks Unionizes


Union sign being held outside a Starbucks. | Image by Jill Toyoshiba, Kansas City Star - Tribune News Service via Eater Dallas

The recent surge in unionization seen among Starbucks workers continued as employees at the Mockingbird Station Starbucks successfully voted to form the first Starbucks labor union in Dallas.

Union organizer and Starbucks employee Nikita Russell was thrilled to see three months of hard work pay off. “This has been one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever done and been a part of,” she told The Dallas Morning News.

More than 200 Starbucks locations nationwide have voted to unionize, according to Starbucks Workers United. Other cities in Texas that have unionized Starbucks shops include Austin, San Antonio, and Denton.

However, newly unionized employees claim to have overcome many challenges since beginning the unionization process in May. Employees said management allegedly attempted “union-busting tactics” to defeat the vote. The tactics supposedly included two terminations: one in June and another last Friday after the vote count had concluded.

Unionizing is governed by federal and state laws and protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which encourages collective bargaining by safeguarding workers’ complete freedom of association. In the case of Starbucks, the company is prevented from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees who choose to exercise their rights.

However, Texas is a “right-to-work” state. Individual employees are protected from government-enforced union requirements like mandatory, unauthorized paycheck deductions for dues, constraints on intra-company job mobility, and forced association inside the union.

It is unclear whether the employees’ claims of “union-busting tactics” violate any laws.

Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges denied any retaliatory actions against union organizers. 

“From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we do not want a union between us as partners, and that conviction has not changed. However, we have also said that we respect the legal process,” said Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossan Williams in a letter to partners regarding the formation of a Starbucks labor union in Buffalo, New York, earlier this year.

Union certification at the Mockingbird Station will receive approval by the National Labor Relations Board in the coming weeks, followed by the beginning of a collective bargaining process.

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Charles Barchuk
Charles Barchuk
5 months ago

I haven’t purchased an overpriced coffee since 2016 from the Anti-America Starbucks (see firearms and other stances) but these workers that have a few peak periods during their shifts think they need a union? Hahahahaaa. This is not an automobile factory or aircraft engine plant. When I worked at DHL as a dockmen, it was mandatory to join the union in order to get 18 plus an hour. However, since I was a dirty casual, I was only paying fees as opposed to the fulltimers who were paying dues and getting all of the benefits. While the casuals worked their full shift, the fulltime guys would lean on brooms after the rush was over. The more tenured guys spent their time filing grievences over toilets not flushing. The union is a joke. Back when underage kids were dying in meat processing factories, etc it was a must. Now it is for lazy workers who want imagined entitlements. That’s alright, Starbucks is already closing some of these stores due to safety concerns. Hahahaaaa