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Lethbridge Starbucks workers file application to join Steelworkers union

The United Steelworkers union (USW) has filed an application with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) for a union-certification vote on behalf of Starbucks workers at five stores in Lethbridge, Alta.

The workers in Lethbridge join the growing number of Starbucks workers who are organizing across North America for better working conditions and wages.

“Throughout the pandemic, Starbucks workers have faced unrealistic expectations from the coffee giant. Workers are burning out and are struggling mentally and physically,” said Pablo Guerra, USW organizer. “From challenges of PPE, employee shortages, being forced to come into work sick, and added pressures from mobile ordering and complex drink orders, workers have had enough and are demanding better from Starbucks. These workers strongly believe joining the USW is the only way to drive change in their workplaces.”

There are over 115 workers between the five stores in Lethbridge:

  • Lethbridge Chapters – store # 4372
  • Mayor Magrath South – store # 4839
  • South Lethbridge – store # 57949
  • Mayor Magrath Drive North – store # 55870
  • West Lethbridge Towne Centre – store # 4628

“It takes a lot of courage for workers to step forward to join a union, especially when Starbucks is ramping up union-busting campaigns,” said Guerra. “Starbucks has given wage increases to all workers across Canada and the United States, except those who have unionized or are unionizing. Their recent tactics to keep out the union only prove the power of workers joining the union. It’s time for Starbucks to respect the will and rights of its workers to unionize.”

The ALRB will hear objections from Starbucks and is expected to authorize a vote of the workers shortly after. To win the vote, the union must receive the support of more than half of the workers.

The USW represents Starbucks workers at the Douglas Street Drive-Thru store in Victoria, B.C. The USW also represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.

Workers interested in joining the United Steelworkers union can learn more about the benefits at betterworknow.ca.

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For further information:

Pablo Guerra, USW Organizer, 236-788-1055, pguerra@usw.ca
Brett Barden, USW Communications, 604-445-6956, bbarden@usw.ca

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