AUSTIN (KXAN) — One Austin Starbucks location has become the first Texas Starbucks to unionize.
Employees of the store at 45th Street and Lamar officially voted to unionize Friday, the group announced on Twitter.
45th and Lamar is officially the first Unionized Starbucks store in the state of Texas! Thank you so much to everyone for all the support through our campaign. 🤠✊— 45th & Lamar Starbucks Workers United (@sbwuatx45lamar) June 3, 2022
The employees filed to join the Starbucks Workers Union in March.
Morgan Leavy is a barista at the store location, who works three different jobs in order to make ends meet.
“We decided that we needed to have a bigger voice and seat at the table,” she said,
In an effort to recruit more willing workers, Starbucks recently raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Yet for Leavy, that’s still not enough.
“A big part of what we’re asking for is a livable wage,” she said. “Especially living in an expensive city like Austin.”
Dan Ross is the founder of Ross Scalise Law Group, focused on all aspects of employment law.
“I’m sure they’re valued employees but that doesn’t mean that Starbucks can’t hire other employees who are not unionized,” he said.
Yet, Ross says that the newly unionized Starbucks store is significant.
“You’re going to see a lot more unionization attempts in a lot of different industries,” he added. “”The fact that a union has now been created here in Texas, it could create a better working environment for all workers statewide.”
Greg Casar, a former labor organizer and former Austin City Council member, said Friday that this is “a huge win for the Texas labor movement.” Casar, who is running as the Democratic nominee for the Texas Congressional District 35, said on Twitter the vote was 10-1.
“We will have a better economy, a better state, and a better country if we respect the voices of working people,” Casar said in a statement.
In a statement to KXAN, a Starbucks spokesperson said, “We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed. We respect our partners’ right to organize and have committed to following the NLRB guidelines.”
At another local Starbucks, employees announced plans to unionize in March. Employees at the West 24th Street and Nueces Street location said one reason they are looking to unionize was that students run the location.