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Thanks for reaching out to Starbucks Workers United. Whether you’re a partner, ally, or a member of the media, we’re thrilled you’re interested in our mission to build a better Starbucks for everyone.

Before sending an email, please check out the FAQs.  

Starbucks Partners – interested in organizing your store or getting connected to local resources? Visit our Take Action page or send us a text at (559) 272-9848.

Allies & Customers – interested in supporting our union? Sign up at Support Starbucks Partners.

Members of the Media – Email us at starbucksmedia@workers-united.org

FAQs

Without a union, workers are “at will” employees, giving a company the authority to discipline or terminate whenever they want except for discriminatory reasons (race, gender, religion, etc.) Decisions are made by your employer with no input from us, the partners.

With a union, power is shared between workers and the employer. Once the union is certified at a store, the employer has a duty to bargain in good faith with the union. If we reach an agreement on a collective bargaining agreement with the employer, and if the agreement is approved by the workers, we would operate under a contract that guarantees our rights. We would have the right to elect the people we want to represent us. With collective bargaining, we gain a real voice to address the issues we face at Starbucks. 

No! We are Starbucks partners. At the core of it, we love crafting beverages and connecting with our communities. All of us want Starbucks to succeed. 

We also know that in this current system, we can’t be our best selves. We can’t reach our full potential at work if we’re understaffed, overextended, or feel unsafe. Many of us have dedicated years to this company, and those of us who haven’t still see the untapped possibilities.

Starbucks is one of the most profitable companies on the planet and the premier leader in the coffee industry. We’re organizing because we know we can improve this company, transform this industry, and form a collaborative, creative, forward-thinking, justice-seeking union for the 21st Century that allows us to advocate for ourselves.

A union contract, also known as a collective bargaining agreement, is a document negotiated between workers and Starbucks executives. The contract sets forth the pay, benefits, policies, and working conditions at the company. 

What sets it apart from the partner handbook is that the employer is contractually obligated to follow the terms set forth in a union contract. This adds an important layer of accountability. Before a contract goes into effect at stores, partners would approve it.

Negotiation is a process, but our proposals reflect our top priorities in a union contract. Developed through hundreds of surveys and hours of discussion, our Proposals address health and safety, fair pay and scheduling, equitable treatment, a just cause for discipline and termination, and much more.

Dues are variable depending on your region. In Buffalo, New York, union dues are $10.84 per week for full-time partners and $5.47 per week for part-time partners (less than 25 hours). 

Partners do not pay dues until a union contract is negotiated and voted upon. Dues fund various avenues that support us, including legal assistance, staff support, educational training sessions for stewards, communications, and assistance with organizing efforts at other stores.

With a union contract in place, partners will have due process and elected worker representatives, called shop stewards, to represent our interests. These shop stewards are workers inside our own stores.

If we have a problem, we can still independently go to management and try to resolve it without filing a formal grievance. However, if it doesn’t get resolved, we have a right to get another person involved and file a grievance. If necessary, a neutral judge, called an arbitrator, would force the company to correct an unfair action. 

As it stands now, higher-ups at Starbucks always have the final say.

Unions do go on strike, but only after a strike vote is democratically taken and a majority of workers vote “Yes” to go on strike.

No, that is illegal. By law, an employer cannot take any benefits away from you when you vote to have a union. The existing benefits serve as the starting point in negotiations with the goal of securing improvements.

During mediation discussions in February 2024 over ongoing brand and IP litigation, a constructive path forward emerged on the broader issues of the future of organizing and collective bargaining at Starbucks.

To build on that path, Workers United and Starbucks have agreed to begin discussions on a foundational framework to achieve collective bargaining agreements for represented stores and partners, the resolution of litigation between the union and the company, including brand litigation, and a fair process for workers to organize. As a sign of good faith, Starbucks has agreed to provide workers represented by Workers United with credit card tipping and benefits announced by the company in May of 2022.  

While there is plenty of work ahead, coming together to develop this framework is a significant step forward and a clear demonstration of a shared commitment to working collaboratively and with mutual respect.