Calgary Chinook Centre Starbucks workers file application to join Steelworkers union

The United Steelworkers union (USW) has filed an application with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) on behalf of Starbucks workers at the Chinook Centre in Calgary.

“Starbucks workers across North America are steaming over the treatment they are receiving, and they deserve better,” said Pablo Guerra, an organizer with the USW in Western Canada and the Territories.

Starbucks workers concerned over health and safety issues and increased pressures on the job are turning to the USW, the leading union for health and safety in North America.

“This is about more than money, and it’s about dignity and respect from both their employer and customers. Throughout the last few years, the job of the barista has changed. In addition to brewing your standard coffee order, baristas now have to enforce mask mandates and deal with complex custom-order drinks while enduring the added pressures of mobile ordering. Often baristas are faced with angry and verbally abusive customers with some subjected to coffee thrown in their face,” said Guerra.

There are 17 workers at the Chinook Centre food court location.

“It takes courage for workers to start an organizing drive to join a union, and we are honoured that these workers from Starbucks would like to join their colleagues from Victoria and be part of our union,” said Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director.

The ALRB will hear objections from Starbucks on Jan. 28, 2022, and is expected to authorize a vote of the workers shortly after.

Following a successful vote, the Chinook Centre location will become the second unionized Starbucks in Canada. The USW represents Starbucks workers at a drive-through location in Victoria, B.C.


For further information:

Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director, 604-816-2554, shunt@usw.ca
Pablo Guerra, USW Organizer, 236-788-1055, pguerra@usw.ca
Brett Barden, USW Communications, 604-445-6956, bbarden@usw.ca

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