MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) — Starbucks workers at the 29th Street and Air Depot store in Midwest City filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize with Starbucks Workers United on Tuesday.
The 29th and Air Depot Starbucks is the fifth store in Oklahoma to file for a union election. Three stores in Oklahoma City unionized in 2022 after securing a majority vote:
- 63rd and Grand (13-11)
- 36th and May (14-1)
- 23rd and Robinson (15-2)
According to a map on More Perfect Union’s website, one store in Norman held a union election as well, but failed to unionize with a resulting vote count of 8-8.
On Monday evening, Starbucks Workers United shared a letter on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Midwest City Starbucks workers sent to CEO Laxman Narasimhan explaining their reasons for unionizing.
“We have decided to unionize because we are tired of being treated as machines instead of human beings. Upper management continuously makes decisions without notifying or consulting partners,” workers said in the letter. “District and Store managers lack knowledge of how their business operates and have pushed ‘do more with less’ to the point of impossibility. Any attempt to voice our concerns and frustrations is met swiftly with chastising and denial.”
Viktoria Jekic, a barista and union organizer at the Midwest City location, says that unionizing is an important step towards a future where workers are heard and valued as partners.
“After dedicating three years of my life to this company, it’s disheartening to witness how our viewpoints and perspectives as partners are often overlooked in decisions that greatly impact both the business and partners,” Jekic said.
“The title ‘partner’ loses its meaning when we are treated as expendable commodities. Unionizing signifies a future where our voices are not only acknowledged but truly valued and embraced, and where we are genuinely regarded as partners in the true sense of the word.”
According to the NLRB’s rules on conducting elections, employers are required to post a Notice of Petition for Election shortly after the petition is filed in places where workplace notices to employees are typically posted. If an employer regularly communicates with employees through electronic means, the notice must also be distributed electronically.
No date has been set for the Midwest City Starbucks union election yet, but NLRB election rules specify that the employer is required to post a Notice of Election once the election is scheduled.