BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — One week after the Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo made history by voting to unionize, workers say they're pushing for the government for the protection of their rights.
"The Pro Act would give some rights back to the workers. It would make sure that the labor laws that were designed in this country to protect the workers actually protect the workers. It would make it so that the Elmwood location, who has won their union, it would make it so that the company has to come to the bargaining table instead of continuing to delay this process," Michelle Eisen, a barista at the Elmwood Starbucks, said.
Meanwhile, the vote to unionize the Starbucks on Genesee has still not become official. 15 voted to unionize, nine voted against. Seven votes have been contested. Objections had to be filed by Thursday.
"I’m truthfully not sure how long the NLRB has to make that decision. I believe it’s five business days from the objection date," Eisen said.
Three more Western New York Starbucks will vote to unionize in the coming months. Those locations include the Walden and Anderson Starbucks, the Depew location, and the Starbucks on Bailey.
"We are voting to unionize probably next month," Sam Amato, a shift supervisor at the Starbucks on Bailey, said, "A lot of our partners, our employees at the store, are frustrated by what corporate is doing. We don’t feel the support. Starbucks says they’re here to support us. We don’t feel it."
But Westnern New York Starbucks workers said they do feel support from their fellow partners across the country, with Starbucks in Boston and Arizona now planning to also unionize.
"It’s very exciting. It’s not completely unexpected because people have been reaching out to us the moment this campaign in Buffalo went public. But to see it actually happen, to see the strength of these people… just knowing that we’re all in this together is very powerful," Eisen said.