Victoria Starbucks Workers Brew Up First Contract

VICTORIA, B.C. – The United Steelworkers union (USW) has brewed up a first collective agreement for the workers at the Douglas Street Starbucks drive-thru location in Victoria, B.C. The workers have unanimously ratified their new three-year collective agreement.

The union was able to bargain health and safety provisions, including contract language aimed at preventing workplace violence and aggressive behaviour, to help keep workers safe. The union was successful in securing language for up to 10 paid days leave for any member facing situations of domestic violence. The workers will also receive a wage increase of up to $2.47 per hour based on years of service and each worker will receive a lump-sum payment upon ratification.

“We are excited now that the contract is done and to see the workplace changes that will come along with it,” said Sarah Broad, USW bargaining committee member. “It felt like a really big battle to bargain with a company like Starbucks, but I am very happy that we did and I cannot wait to see the impact that the changes will bring not only for us but for other baristas too.”

“We are all so excited to have this contract finalized and the strength of a union behind us,” said Isaiah Adachi, USW bargaining committee member. “Because of the Steelworkers, we can now hold Starbucks accountable for the environment it creates for both its workers and customers. I am glad that we can focus on building a better customer service industry where baristas are treated with the respect and dignity that we deserve.”

In August 2020, the Victoria Starbucks workers voted to unionize after reaching out to the USW to achieve better protections from harassment and unsafe work situations that they were facing.

“This was a tough round of bargaining – you could say a real grind – and I am sure Starbucks was pretty steamed when they saw what we were serving them,” said Tara Cavanagh, USW Staff Representative. “I am very proud of the bargaining committee and all of our members for their patience and support while we obtained this new contract. Workers in the service industry often get forgotten and do not get recognized for the difficult industry they work in and this contract now reflects it.”

“With this new contract, Starbucks members are helping to set a new standard for baristas and coffee shop workers, bringing them above the minimum wage and closer to a living wage,” said Stephen Hunt, USW District Director for Western Canada. “Workers need unions more than ever. This contract shows that when workers are engaged, better working conditions and wages can be achieved. Every worker deserves better, and as Steelworkers, we do not discriminate on who we welcome to our union or how much they make or what their job is.”

“I am so grateful for the Steelworkers and for all of the opportunities they have already brought to us,” added Broad.

USW District 3 represents over 50,000 workers in Western Canada and the Territories.

If you are interested in joining a union or speaking to a union organizer, please contact us at betterworknow.ca or usw.ca/join. You deserve better work now.


For further information:

Tara Cavanagh, USW Staff Representative, 250-318-0108, tcavanagh@usw.ca
Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director, 604-816-2554, shunt@usw.ca

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