Workers at Starbucks drive-thru on Douglas Street form Steel Workers union

The United Steel Workers Union welcomed its barista members after the workers at the Douglas

“Essential workers” at a drive-thru Starbucks in Victoria have voted to form a union, citing concerns for workers’ safety and job security, a United Steel Workers official confirmed Thursday (Aug. 20).

“They’re steel workers now,” USW director for Western Canada, Stephen Hunt, said of his new members at the Starbucks at 3180 Douglas St.

Hunt said USW organizers will be meeting with the Starbucks’ employees who “overwhelmingly” voted to join the union Wednesday afternoon. Their next step will be to propose a collective bargaining agreement to the coffee shop’s owners.

READ ALSO: Starbucks plans to close up to 200 Canadian locations over two years

Hunt wouldn’t offer a specific timeline, but expects the union will negotiate with Starbucks’ management within months.

Starbucks workers approached the USW via email last month, citing concerns about their job security and the potential spread of COVID-19 in their workplace, Hunt explained, adding it is the first time the USW has organized a union drive digitally.

Hunt said it’s easy for employers to designate the people who work for them as “essential workers,” but stressed that those people “aren’t sacrificial” during a pandemic.

The Starbucks at 3180 is the only drive-thru outlet in Victoria. Black Press Media was not able to reach management for comment prior to deadline.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Most Read