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2 Boston-area Starbucks become first of chain's Mass. stores to unionize

Pro-union pins sit on a table during a watch party for Starbucks' employees union election last year in Buffalo, N.Y. Workers at two Starbucks locations in eastern Massachusetts became the first in the state to vote to unionize Monday. (Joshua Bessex/AP)
Pro-union pins sit on a table during a watch party for Starbucks' employees union election last year in Buffalo, N.Y. Workers at two Starbucks locations in eastern Massachusetts became the first in the state to vote to unionize Monday. (Joshua Bessex/AP)

Workers at two Starbucks in Boston and Brookline voted to unionize Monday, becoming the first of the coffee chain's stores to do so in Massachusetts.

The two stores are located in Allston on Commonwealth Avenue and on Harvard Street in Brookline. For each store, the vote to join Workers United was unanimous. Some votes were challenged, however.

Kylah Clay, a barista and one of the organizers of the Allston store's union effort, said she now wants to turn her focus toward helping other locations in the area unionize. That includes at least 14 other stores in the state that have filed petitions to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board.

“This only makes it better for everybody, for our customers, for our partners, for our managers," Clay said. "I think this will be a really great thing for all of us.”

A company spokeswoman said in a statement that Starbucks will "respect the process" and "will bargain in good faith," adding the company hopes the "union does the same."

The vote comes months after a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, became the first to unionize.

This article was originally published on April 11, 2022.

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Darryl C. Murphy Twitter Reporter
Darryl C. Murphy is a business reporter at WBUR.

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