Starbucks workers in Sunnyvale are latest to start organizing union for better wages, hours

Lauren Martinez Image
Friday, April 7, 2023
Starbucks workers in Sunnyvale are latest to start organizing union
Starbucks workers in a Sunnyvale location are the latest in the Bay Area to start organizing a union for better wages and hours.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- In one of the most expensive zip codes in the Bay Area, a young group of workers are calling for better wages and more hours.

Workers at the Starbucks on Fremont Avenue and Mary Avenue in Sunnyvale filed for unionization in mid-March.

Klara Daniaed said they're calling for better wages and more hours. The 21-year-old said management is "intentionally" scheduling them under the amount of hours they would need to qualify for benefits.

"Our generation is running out of options. I mean, we are facing an economy that we simply can't keep up with and going somewhere else is not going to fix our problem," Daniaed said.

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At least 293 of Starbucks' 9,000 company-owned U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since late 2021, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

During a Senate hearing last week, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the company has not violated any labor laws regarding unions and has negotiated in "good faith" with employees.

The National Labor Relations Board said that to date 368 Starbucks stores throughout the country have tallied ballots in union elections -- 296 voted "yes."

Starbucks has yet to reach a contract agreement with any of those stores.

"In collectively bargaining, we actually get the chance to create change for us," Daniaed said.

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Dahlia Maldonado said they're not trying to vilify or slander anyone. They're seeking fair representation.

"It speaks on housing costs and when we're getting $18 an hour, whether you are fulltime or you're part-time student living with family, it's just not livable," Maldonado said.

The NLRB will host voting at the Fremont location on April 21. The location will be closed for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon for voting.

"We're put in a position where we can't do much other than voice and come together, so it's very important," Maldonado said.

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Nathan Hanner is a supervisor. He trying to attain fulltime hours.

"One of the main things I want changed, especially being a supervisor and someone that has to have an understanding of the floor and where we work, is that I'm consistently understaffed," Hanner said.

ABC7 News reached out to Starbucks for comment.

In May of last year, two Santa Cruz locations became the first Starbucks stores to unionize in California.

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