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Thread: As Starbucks Delays, Buffalo Locations Poised to Become 1st Union Stores

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    As Starbucks Delays, Buffalo Locations Poised to Become 1st Union Stores

    Starbucks Seeks to Delay Union Election as Vote Nears
    The move, and a visit by the company’s former chief executive days before the scheduled start of balloting at three Buffalo-area stores, reflect the stakes.



    Aimee Alumbaugh, center, trained new baristas on using the espresso machine at a Starbucks in Cheektowaga, N.Y., near Buffalo.Credit...Libby March for The New York Times

    By Noam Scheiber
    Nov. 8, 2021
    Just days before workers at three Starbucks stores in the Buffalo area were scheduled to begin voting on unionization, both labor and management took steps that reflect the high stakes involved, including an attempt by Starbucks on Monday to delay the election.

    No corporate-owned Starbucks stores in the United States are unionized. Since workers at the three locations filed petitions in August seeking to affiliate with a union, the company has brought in officials from out of state — including managers and its president of retail for North America — to address problems at stores in the area.

    The union filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board last week accusing the company of unlawfully “engaging in a campaign of threats, intimidation, surveillance, solicitation of grievances and the closing of facilities” during the election campaign.

    On Saturday afternoon, Starbucks closed stores in the area so workers could attend a talk by Howard Schultz, the company’s largest individual shareholder and its former chief executive, at a local hotel.

    Attendance at the session was voluntary, and Mr. Schultz did not mention the union campaign explicitly. But according to a transcript provided by Starbucks, he appeared to allude to the unionization effort repeatedly.

    “We’re not a perfect company,” Mr. Schultz told employees at the meeting, who included baristas, managers and company officials. “Mistakes are made. We learn from them, and we try and fix them.” He argued that the company’s history of doing right by its employees, including offering them health care benefits and equity, showed that it had their interests in mind.

    On a visit to the area in September to talk to managers, “I heard some things I never heard before about the condition of some of the stores some of you were working in,” he said on Saturday, without specifying the issues. “I made a promise to the managers that all of that would be addressed and fixed.”

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    Workers who support the union have cited chronic understaffing, insufficient training and pay increases that fail to keep up with seniority. Some say the problems were compounded by the pandemic but long preceded it. In October, the company announced a new pay plan that included wage increases.

    Union supporters, who are seeking to become part of Workers United, an affiliate of the giant Service Employees International Union, also say they want to ensure that they have a voice in resolving problems that arise on the job.

    The National Labor Relations Board is scheduled to begin sending ballots to workers at the three stores on Wednesday; they are due back by Dec. 8. Under an October ruling from a regional official of the labor board, the three stores are slated to hold separate elections, meaning that a simple majority at any one of the stores would create a union.

    But on Monday, Starbucks appealed the ruling, arguing that the board’s acting regional director erred in not setting up a single election involving all stores in the Buffalo area instead. It asked the N.L.R.B. in Washington to review the decision, and for a stay in mailing out ballots until the board rules. A single, larger election typically favors the employer.

    Some workers who attended Mr. Schultz’s talk were confused by a story he told about the Holocaust, in which he noted that only a small portion of prisoners in German concentration camps received blankets but often shared them with fellow prisoners.

    “So much of that story is threaded into what we have tried to do at Starbucks is share our blanket,” Mr. Schultz said, according to the transcript.

    NY TIMES LINK
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    Shouldn't you be drinking Tim Horton's coffee?
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    Fuck all them too! Their coffee sucks, I buy the dark roasts at Aldis or Target...

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    I've worked in union shops. Two Teamsters, one UAW. I feel like I'm better off in a non-union shop.

    Oddly enough all three companies are no more.

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    You may be but you wouldn't be if there were no unions...

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    Terry (11-09-2021)


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    If unionization were so ineffective in terms of getting those who actually do the labor more of what they deserve, one would expect that these non-unionized companies wouldn't care if the workers unionized.

    To a business, every non-unionized company shits a brick when the workers begin to take steps toward unionizing, pulls out every stop to block said unionization and usually ends up grudgingly throwing the workers a few more crumbs not to unionize. All of that in itself should tell a worker that - imperfect as they may be - there is power in unions, as opposed to being powerless without one...particularly in a right-to-work state.
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    Well, Buffalo could have had a mayor who might have been on the correct side of this issue.... but instead, the corrupt incumbent pulled a "Joe Lieberman" and managed to con his way back into office.

    Starfucks sucks anyway. I've been carrying around a gift card in my wallet for over a decade now, and haven't even been desperate enough to drink their coffee for "free" yet. Not with better choices around here. I can understand how Starfucks might appeal in other coffee-deprived areas, I guess.
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    I drink @4 to 6 gallons of this shit every day



    Sure, it taste like singer Susan Boyle's ass on a humid day at Wrigley Field a^it&ki^d^kee$^me^^^wireeeed but it's worth it people. It's worth it.

    As far as WikiNiki shitty union in ever shittier Muffablow please keep in mind this is a StarSucks who as fate has it declared WAR ON CHRISTMAS because their god damn never decay landfill cups don't gel with American Christofascism. And we can't have that. No. Besides coffee is for shit sticks, vinyl hipsters, burnt out social workers, high school kids who think they are 25, and art school retards. So you see, unionization means little.

    I say save up your money and buy heroin.
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    Heroin? Nah... much better to relax with CBD coffee....


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    There you go again promoting the Devil's Lettuce. Bee Sides. CBD is a marketing scam - like Joe Jar Biden.

    I once wore a CBD buttplug to Mass one day. Oh, the kneeling was a bitch combined with all the prayer. Anyhoo, it was to prove a point that CBD is worthless. It's like non-alcohol weed for New Agers and student Buddhist. CBD is the Tupperware of weed. And CBD'ers throw Tupperware parties for their alleged Buddhist friends and then end up talking all sorts of shit about The Clash and how Mick Jones' daughter is having an affair with the skinhead dude from Tears for Fears. Fucking limeys. Just disgusting people. Where was I? Oh yeah, buttplugs and prayer. Everyone who feels holy should try this. I'm not kidding.

    Can't remember the last time I found my sorry ass in a StarMunks. Been a few years. Saw a lot of college shits in there. Like they literately shit on the floor and the employees scoped it up and brewed it back for them. And then this high school kid walked in and she was in total disarray and adolescent angst.

    Here she is now:



    The toll coffee take so the human soul is astonishing. There is much concern here.
    Last edited by Kristy; 11-09-2021 at 11:30 PM.

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    I don't drink coffee. I trade in their gift cards on something else.

    Starbucks are going to be as plentiful as Taco Bell around here soon. There's four I know of being built.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twonabomber View Post
    I don't drink coffee. I trade in their gift cards on something else.

    Starbucks are going to be as plentiful as Taco Bell around here soon. There's four I know of being built.
    For all the union shit, they're expanding like fuck here too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy View Post
    I drink @4 to 6 gallons of this shit every day



    Sure, it taste like singer Susan Boyle's ass on a humid day at Wrigley Field a^it&ki^d^kee$^me^^^wireeeed but it's worth it people. It's worth it.

    As far as WikiNiki shitty union in ever shittier Muffablow please keep in mind this is a StarSucks who as fate has it declared WAR ON CHRISTMAS because their god damn never decay landfill cups don't gel with American Christofascism. And we can't have that. No. Besides coffee is for shit sticks, vinyl hipsters, burnt out social workers, high school kids who think they are 25, and art school retards. So you see, unionization means little.

    I say save up your money and buy heroin.
    GooglyKrisy, add fentanyl to that mix!

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    Quote Originally Posted by twonabomber View Post
    I've worked in union shops. Two Teamsters, one UAW. I feel like I'm better off in a non-union shop.

    Oddly enough all three companies are no more.
    Some unions are worth joining because you can get a break on health insurance and some unions provide career and trade training making union employees more skilled and better trained. My dad ran a Union operation. He lost bids because he was more expensive but he had a reputation of being one of the best contractors. So he got the jobs where quality was a must.

    Some unions aren’t worth the dues you pay.
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    The only good Starbuck’s is one that is on fire.

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    Starbucks bring in $20 billion a year and pay virtually no tax. If staff get paid more less yacht money for a couple of people but everyone else benefits because employees spend money and pay income and sales tax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    GooglyKrisy, add fentanyl to that mix!
    That made zero sense. And I should know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    Starbucks bring in $20 billion a year and pay virtually no tax. If staff get paid more less yacht money for a couple of people but everyone else benefits because employees spend money and pay income and sales tax.
    It’s why I favor a flat tax. You can’t play games with it but getting rid of the current income tax code games would kill a $20 billion tax accounting industry which is a racket unto itself. The biggest trick used for years is you set up a foundation and then use it to skirt taxes and actually pay yourself through shell companies.

    The reality is non of this is going to be fixed because everyone is on the take and the public are either too stupid, lazy or divided to cause any real change. But it’s good material to bitch about online.

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    The music they play in a Star Chunks is beyond reprehensible. If it is good, they'll play it. If it is utter fucking shit, they'll still fucking play it. Relentlessly. I mean I was hearing Tears For Fucking Fears, man!

    I mean imagine the horror of being in a Star Munks, and a tune comes on the radio. It seems vaguely familiar and it speaks to you. It speaks to you on many levels. It hits your guts and brains at the same time. It makes you smile, it makes you twitch, it makes you drool. It makes you leak. So you ask the robo-barista what it is and she says "it's Turin fucking Brakes you fucking moron!" I'm like "AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" And I have a heart attack and fucking DIE! That's my nightmare. What's yours? No, don't tell me. I'm not really interested. I nurture the savagely nagging doubt that 8 billion coffee drinkers might actually be right - and that The Smiths might NOT sound like feeble and effete jingle-jangle fronted by an irritatingly morose and self-obsessed gladioli waving Rudolf Hess lookalike who is obviously aiming for camp irony but actually sounds like whining cur in need of a good shit.

    I mean WHAT IF the Pixies DIDN'T make album after album of irritatingly forgettable mock-punk lite!?!?

    WHAT IF Sonic Youth WEREN'T just stunningly pretentious no-talent art-snobs?


    So I would like to thank the annoying hipsters at the local Star Clucks for proving, once and for all, that I was 100% right after all. They must have one amazing editorial policy from the corporate office that their shithole stores will play absolutely ANYTHING as long as it was made by alternative white males. Between 1977 and 1990.

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    The proper morning drink is a strong earl grey with a dash of milk and three raw sugar.
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    Actually I discovered in Vienna a few years ago it's earl grey with a light Cuban rum. If not morning then definitely lunchtime. Try it!

    Vienna is very sophisticated so it's ok. The UK royal family routinely drink gin mid morning, it's funny the similarities of the people at the top and the bottom are - both unemployed and morning boozing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashstralia View Post
    The proper morning drink is a strong earl grey with a dash of milk and three raw sugar.
    My grandmother would fully agree with that but she was British.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    Well, Buffalo could have had a mayor who might have been on the correct side of this issue.... but instead, the corrupt incumbent pulled a "Joe Lieberman" and managed to con his way back into office.

    Starfucks sucks anyway. I've been carrying around a gift card in my wallet for over a decade now, and haven't even been desperate enough to drink their coffee for "free" yet. Not with better choices around here. I can understand how Starfucks might appeal in other coffee-deprived areas, I guess.
    Starbucks coffee isn't particularly good coffee. Have been getting iced coffee with whole milk and multiple pumps of Starbucks classic sweetener for years: whenever a barista neglects to put the classic sweetener in - and it's just the coffee, milk and ice - it actually tastes sort of shitty.

    It's merely because there are so many Starbucks stores, and the convenience of that...wherever you are, you can get a Starbucks.

    I will say that the relatively plain iced coffee I order is a bit of an anomaly in terms of what I see other people getting, which are various coffees and custom drinks with 8 or more different ingredients in them...it's like, if you want a fucking milkshake, go to an ice cream shop. "Oh, and don't forget the whipped cream drizzled with caramel sauce on top"...sweet fucking jesus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Starbucks coffee isn't particularly good coffee.
    McDonalds and Dominoes objectively aren't very good either compared to your average local burger or pizza joint. The actual product isn't the main factor at all in these global brands, probably not even in the top 5 reasons for their success.

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