Workers unionize at flagship Seattle Starbucks coffee roastery


Emily Sirisue jumps to show her support for fellow Seattle Starbucks baristas after the vote to unionize the Starbucks roastery on Capitol Hill, Thursday, April 21, 2022 in Seattle. Workers gathered at Seattle Central College to watch the vote count during a zoom call, projected on a screen at the front of the room. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP)


Starbucks workers at the coffee giant’s flagship roastery in Seattle voted Thursday to form a union, the latest site in the chain to form a collective bargaining unit.

The Seattle store voted 38 to 27 to unionize.

Workers United said 26 Starbucks locations have unionized across the country. The Starbucks Reserve and Roastery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the company’s second to unionize in its hometown of Seattle.

“As we have said throughout, we will respect the process and negotiate in good faith. We hope the union will do the same,” Reggie Borges, a Starbucks spokesperson, said in a statement.

Starbucks has several flagship stores. The Seattle outlet joined the New York outlet in forming a union.

“A lot of it is just that we don’t have a seat at the table, we don’t have a voice in our workplace,” said Liz Duran, operations manager at Starbucks. “People have been pushed more and more over the last few years, and past the breaking point, the COVID pandemic is really bringing workers to a point where you realize the power we really have.”

Lynn A. Saleh