Starbucks in the Castro first San Francisco store to unionize

Employees at a Starbucks in the Castro District have become the first San Francisco location to vote to unionize.

It was a 7-2 vote to join Starbucks Workers United for workers at the Starbucks located at 18th and Castro. This becomes the 15th Starbucks location in California to unionize.

The vote was counted Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board. A spokesperson for NLRB said Starbucks has five business days to submit objections to the election. If no objections are filed, the results will be certified and the company must begin bargaining in good faith with the union. 

James Kreiss, an employee at the Starbucks, called the vote a win-win for staff and the company. He said employees want things like better working conditions, better pay, and worker protections. Their push for join a union began in June after Kreiss said customers and staff dealt with inconsistent staffing in the early part of 2022.

"We're very proud of the results today and we hope this encourages our sister stores to also seek unions," Kreiss said. "We were shut down for four months earlier this year due to maintenance issues that were prolonged and it was a hard time for us who didn't feel supported. That was one of the really big triggers for us."

Supervisor Dean Preston, who supported Starbucks workers and introduced legislation to allow them to unionize, released the following statement:

"It takes tremendous courage and determination to form a union, especially in a climate where too often big corporations engage in blatant union busting activity. I’m proud of Starbucks employees here and across the country who are unionizing their workplaces."

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes the Castro, sent out a tweet congratulating Castro Starbucks employees. He wrote: "In an era of growing income inequality, successful efforts to organize low wage private sector workers remind us that there is still power in a union and San Francisco is still a union town."

SEE ALSO: San Francisco Starbucks store pushes to unionize

Starbucks did not immediately return KTVU’s request for comment. The company has said in the past that it believes it is stronger without unions.

The SFGate reports a Starbucks in Berkeley on Shattuck Avenue is also pushing to unionize. That store will have ballots counted next Monday.