Oak Creek Starbucks workers vote to unionize: a first in Wisconsin

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OAK CREEK, WI – Starbucks workers at 8880 Howell Avenue in Oak Creek voted 15-8 in favor of union representation by the Chicago & Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, according to a statement from the union.

National Labor Relations Board election results make the location Wisconsin’s first successful Starbucks union. Workers at other Starbucks locations in Wisconsin, such as the Plover location, have also signaled their intention to unionize, according to previous union press releases.

Employees at the Oak Creek site announced their union campaign in February with a letter to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. The majority of workers at the store had signed permission cards at the time, according to Mary Floreani, a Workers United organizer.

Hannah Fogarty, a south Milwaukee resident and Oak Creek site employee, told Patch by phone Thursday that she was not surprised but pleased with the results.

Fogarty said she and others at the store skimmed over what other Starbucks unions had bargained for as they prepared for their own negotiations.

“We are so proud to be the first Starbucks syndicate in Wisconsin and hope other stores will follow in our footsteps,” Fogarty said in the press release.

While it’s the first Starbucks in Wisconsin to vote for union representation, it’s not the first coffeehouse in the state to do so. Workers at Colectivo, an artisan coffee company, made progress in negotiations after the NLRB rejected the company’s appeal against the union vote, according to a Wisconsin Examiner report.

“We deserve to earn enough money to have a savings account, to pay our bills and fix our cars,” Fogarty told Patch.

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