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Cleveland Circle Starbucks Votes to Unionize With Three Other MA Locations

Workers at Boston College’s favorite Starbucks location, Cleveland Circle, voted 8-2 to form a union on Tuesday. 

Yaakov Horwath, an employee at the Cleveland Circle location, told the Boston Globe after the election, “We finally get to have a say in our jobs. We work for a massive company and we deserve fair and equal representation. We’re not stagnant anymore. We can make change happen now.”

Three other Starbucks locations voted to form unions on Tuesday: in the Allston-located Continuum building, on Mount Auburn Street in Watertown, and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. These elections bring the total number of unionized Starbucks in Massachusetts to six, since two stores in Allston and Brookline unanimously won their elections in early April. 

Since August 2021, when three Starbucks stores around Buffalo, NY filed a petition to unionize, almost 250 other locations have filed union petitions with the National Labor Relations Board. 

A Starbucks spokesperson told WBUR after the four elections on Tuesday that the company is “always listening and learning” from its employees. This attitude differs substantially from the widely-circulated quote the New York Post reported that CEO Howard Schultz allegedly said to a barista and organizer at a meeting in Long Beach, CA: “If you hate Starbucks so much, why don’t you go somewhere else?”

In the future, even more Starbucks locations will be holding union elections. Since December, 16 locations have filed petitions. The next Massachusetts Starbucks store to hold a union election will be the Waban location on Woodward Street, on May 19.