June 30, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A second Starbucks in Astoria has voted to unionize, making it the second Starbucks in Queens to do so.
Employees at the 22-28 31st St. store voted 7-4 in favor of unionizing. Workers made the announcement via Twitter Thursday morning. The store is located between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue.
The workers tweeted that they had voted to join Starbucks Workers United (SWU), a group that is part of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU has around 2 million members.
“We are excited to announce we have won our election with @SBWorkersUnited,” a tweet by the group reads.
“Today is a testament to the power of the working class. Organized and unified, workers run the world and we hope our victory inspires other workers to organize for their interests as a class.”
We are excited to announce we have won our election with @SBWorkersUnited Today is a testament to the power of the working class. Organized and unified, workers run the world and we hope our victory inspires other workers to organize for their interests as a class
— Ditmars Blvd SBWU (@DitmarsSBWU) June 30, 2022
The decision by workers at the 31st Street location to unionize comes less than a month after employees at the 30-18 Astoria Blvd. store voted in favor of unionizing.
The Astoria locations are part of a wave of Starbucks stores across the country to unionize, with workers in around 170 locations voting to do so, according to SWU. The first Starbucks location to unionize was in Buffalo, NY, in December.
The workers at the 31st Street Starbucks say they are unionizing to fight for improved working conditions at the store.
The employees took to Twitter in April and posted a list of demands they want from the company.
They called for an hourly rate of $25, free and full health care coverage regardless of hours worked, more paid vacation and sick time, as well as expanded childcare and maternity leave.
The workers also want 30-ride share passes per month, self-defense training and more stock grants.
These are the demands of workers organizing with @SBWorkersUnited at @DitmarsSBWU! Thank you @rwu_str for the inspiration and help! These will be specified in more detail later, but we hope to inspire other shops in making similar demands. Solidarity to all workers everywhere! pic.twitter.com/lBYIslAbXs
— Ditmars Blvd SBWU (@DitmarsSBWU) April 30, 2022
The Queens Post reached out to Starbucks for comment but has yet to receive a response.
Starbucks released a brief statement to the Queens Post earlier this month in relation to the Astoria Boulevard store unionizing saying it was open to engaging with the workers there.
“As we have said throughout, we will respect the process and will bargain in good faith guided by our principles…,” the statement reads. “We hope that the union does the same.”
Meanwhile, State Senator Mike Gianaris praised the workers at the 31st Street location for unionizing.
“Congratulations to the latest Queens Starbucks workers exercising their right to organize and join a union,” Gianaris said in a statement to the Queens Post.
“Organized labor is the foundation of a strong working class, which we need now more than ever. I am thrilled this movement keeps growing and I am proud of the workers leading this fight.”