2 Jacksonville Starbucks locations vote to unionize

The stores are among the first in the state to unionize

As workers at more than a dozen Starbucks stores around the country have voted to unionize, two local Starbucks could be next. Unionization ballots were mailed April 12 to employees at the drive-thru store at the intersection of San Jose Blvd and Ricky Drive in Mandarin, and the café in San Marco.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Starbucks locations in Jacksonville both voted to unionize Tuesday. That brings the number of unionized locations in Florida to three.

Organizers at the Mandarin location succeeded in a close 10-7 vote with nearly half of eligible staff not casting a ballot one way or the other. The San Marco Starbucks chose 8-1 to unionize.

A Tallahassee Starbucks voted to unionize last week, becoming the first in the state to do so, WJCT reported.

Unionization ballots were mailed to employees on April 12. Before the vote, workers told News4JAX that this is about having a seat at the table and holding Starbucks accountable.

One local employee shared her opinions on the matter.

“Starbucks has these certain values and we’re just trying to further those values to feel like we’re respected as what they call us, as partners of the company,” Kayla Eliopulous, Head Union organizer at the San Marco Starbucks, said.

She said she and her colleagues wanted more workers on the floor, experienced workers to earn more than new hires, and credit card tips.

Starbucks has come out strongly against unionization efforts. Founder and CEO Howard Schultz said, “…I do not believe conflict, division and dissension -- which has been a focus of union organizing -- benefits Starbucks or our partners.”

To date, over 50 Starbucks nationally have voted to unionize. Hundreds more have begun to start the election process.

Nearly a dozen have voted down a union, opting not to collectively organize, WJCT reports.

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I-TEAM and general assignment reporter