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Austin Starbucks employees become first to successfully unionize in Texas

Former Austin City Council Member Greg Casar called the victory "inspiring."

AUSTIN, Texas — A local Starbucks location celebrated victory Friday, becoming the state's first unionized store.

KVUE first learned about the 45th Street and Lamar Boulevard location's attempts to unionize in March. The location had sent a letter to the CEO of Starbucks after another local store also announced its plans to attempt a union.

At the time, Starbucks provided KVUE with the following statement:

"We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed."

Former Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, a former labor organizer himself and currently a candidate for Texas' 35th Congressional District, lauded the location's victory.

“This is a win for the Starbucks workers at 45th and Lamar, and a huge win for the Texas labor movement,” he said Friday. “We will have a better economy, a better state and a better country if we respect the voices of working people. A huge congratulations to these staff and all others working to unionize in Texas! They’re inspiring a unionization movement across our state.”

Casar had also expressed support for the location's efforts back in March, delivering a letter to interim CEO Howard Schultz and Mellody Hobson, chairwoman of the Starbucks Corporation Board.

“I believe that Starbucks will be a better company if it works cooperatively with a unionized workforce. When workers have an independent, democratic voice through their union, we are all better off for it. History proves it,” he wrote.


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