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Rare Starbucks union vote set to begin in Buffalo

Pro-union workers want more say in pay and working conditions.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Never in its 50-year history has Starbucks relied on union workers to serve up frothy lattes as its U.S. cafes. But some baristas aim to change that. 

Workers at three separate Starbucks stores in and around Buffalo, New York, are expected to begin voting by mail this week on whether they want to be represented by Workers United. Starbucks is appealing, seeking to delay the vote. If the vote goes ahead, the results will be tallied next month. 

Pro-union workers want more say in pay and working conditions. But Starbucks says the company functions best when it works directly with employees.