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Buffalo area Starbucks workers are forming a union

Starbucks Workers United Organizing Committee sent a letter to the CEO and president of Starbucks on Monday.
A logo is pictured on a sign outside a Starbucks coffee shop in London on November 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo area Starbucks employees are starting a union.

On Monday, Starbucks Workers United Organizing Committee from the Buffalo area sent a letter to the president and CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson. 

The statement reads in part: "We believe that there can be no true partnership without power-sharing and accountability. We are organizing a union because we believe that this is the best way to contribute meaningfully to our partnership with the company and ensure both that our voices are heard and that, when we are heard, we have equal power to affect change and get things done."

Starbucks Workers United Organizing Committee said in the letter that the decision to form a union was not because of a specific policy decision by Starbucks, but rather "a commitment to making Starbucks, Buffalo, and the world a better place."

The letter was shared out on Twitter from the organization's account and received attention from the community.

There are 19 Starbucks in the Buffalo area. 

2 On Your Side spoke to Jory Mendes, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications for Starbucks.

Mendes said via telephone that "While Starbucks respects the free choice of our partners, we firmly believe that our work environment, coupled with our outstanding compensation and benefits, makes unions unnecessary at Starbucks. We respect our partners’ right to organize but believe that they would not find it necessary given our pro-partner environment."

2 On Your Side followed up and asked in what way does Starbucks compensation and benefits make a union unnecessary. Mendes wasn't able to get into those specifics at that moment. 

There are 15,348 Starbucks locations in the United State, none of which have an employee union.

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