Ohio State Starbucks

The Starbucks at 1784 N. High St. location in Columbus. 

Starbucks partners at the 1784 N. High St. location in Columbus petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a union representation election Nov. 7.

In a letter and email signed by a majority of the workers to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, the staff, who are mostly made up of students at The Ohio State University, expressed clear resolve in organizing their workplace.

“As a campus store, our needs are specific: Partners travel to their homes during academic breaks and deserve to be secure in their employment when they return,” staff wrote, according to the release. “We work to pay rent and tuition, to keep food on the table, and to have healthcare. No one should be robbed of these basic rights in the name of corporate greed and favoritism.”

These baristas are the third in Columbus and the ninth in Ohio to join the Starbucks Workers United movement across the country. They join downtown Columbus union members at the 88 Broad St. location and in Westerville at the South State St. store.

“College students deserve a job that works for them,” Hannah Wright, a shift supervisor at the High St. location, said in the release. “We know that this store and this company is capable of so much more and so we chose to organize and speak up on behalf of our fellow partners. We look forward to seeing real, tangible change.”

Workers at the international coffee chain have filed for elections at hundreds of locations across the United States and have won representation in more than 250 of them. The petition highlights the growth of the movement in the Midwest, where union density among Starbucks shops in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois grows to rival the spread of the campaign in the company’s historic strongholds of Seattle and New York, the release said.

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