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New Orleans Starbucks store first in Louisiana to vote union

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Employees at a Starbucks store in New Orleans voted to form a union, becoming the first of the coffee giant’s locations in Louisiana to unionise.

Ballots were cast on Friday and Saturday 11-1 in favour of joining Workers United, which represents the unionised Starbucks stores, WWNO-FM reported. Two ballots were challenged, the station said.

The New Orleans vote is the latest in a series of wins for labour at Starbucks stores across the nation, and comes about a week after workers in Birmingham, Alabama, voted 27-to-1 to become that state’s first unionised Starbucks.

Barista Caitlyn Pierce and others wanted to unionise because of regular shifts where they were overworked and understaffed, the station reported.

“I’m feeling amazing,” Pierce said. “This is something we worked so hard for and it’s just great to finally get here.”

Starbucks has fought unionisation efforts, saying its 9,000 company-owned United States (US) stores function best when Starbucks works directly with employees, which the company calls “partners.”

Starbucks employees and supporters in Buffalo. PHOTO: AP