Detroit News: Marick Masters on union votes at Michigan Starbucks stores


A Starbucks store in Grand Rapids last month became the first in the state to unionize amid a broader organizing effort at the country’s largest coffee chain. Now, workers at nearly a dozen other Starbucks stores in the state are poised to determine whether they’ll join a union that has racked up dozens of wins across the country in the past six months. Voting in union elections administered by the National Labor Relations Board is scheduled for Tuesday at five stores in Ann Arbor and Thursday at five others in Clinton Township, Flint, Grand Blanc, Lansing and East Lansing. A store in Ypsilanti will vote on June 17. “This is a significant movement for the labor movement as a whole and the retail industry in particular. It reflects a potential change in the climate that is more favorable toward unions, particularly among younger workers,” said Marick Masters, a professor of management at Wayne State University who is working on a book about organizing efforts at Starbucks and Amazon. “The unions have had a great deal of success so far in winning certification of elections at various sites in which they petitioned to organize.”

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