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Starbucks employees at the coffee chain's Elmwood Village location in Buffalo voted 19 to 8 in favor of joining Workers United, a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union.
If the National Labor Relations Board certifies the vote — a process expected to take about a week — it would be the first of the coffee chain's 8,000 company-owned U.S. locations to unionize.
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The Elmwood Village location is one of three of the company's cafes in the region that filed petitions in August with the labor board seeking union representation. In addition, the workers are asking for more input on pay and store operations. Around 111 Starbucks workers were eligible to vote by mail starting last month.
The NLRB gave the locations the green light in October to hold three separate votes. Starbucks filed an appeal to the labor board's decision in an effort to delay the vote and asked the NLRB to hold one vote with all 20 of its Buffalo-area stores. However, the board rejected that request, saying store-by-store votes were appropriate under labor law.
Workers at Starbucks' Camp Road location voted to reject unionization by a vote of 12 to 8, while the vote at its Genesee Street location could not be determined on Thursday because of several challenged votes. As a result, the vote count for Genesee Street will have to be resolved during a post-election proceeding with the NLRB.
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The results come as calls for unionization at Starbucks continue to grow, with workers at an additional three Buffalo locations and a store in Mesa, Arizona, filing for their own elections. Those cases are pending.
Representatives for Starbucks and Workers United did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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