Duval County

Starbucks location in Jacksonville joins nationwide unionization push

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local Starbucks location in Jacksonville is joining a nationwide push for unionization.

Mason Boykin has been working for Starbucks for the past three years and helped write a letter to Starbucks Workers United on behalf of the San Jose location, with 65% of other employees, to join unionization efforts.

“We’ve specified wages,” Boykin said. “We actually were supposed to get a raise at the end of January, but it was misworded so a lot of partners that are tenured did not receive a raise.”

He wants to be clear about one thing, though: “I love our mission and values.”

He was instantly drawn to the company’s progressive views, like referring to employees as partners.

”I am a queer person and that was one of my reasons as to applying to Starbucks,” he pointed out. “There’s that culture we call it the third place. When you step inside Starbucks, it’s not like stepping into any other food establishment.

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”But he’s noticed some turnover issues from the beginning.

”I had five managers in under a year,” he said. “Five store managers, they were just churnin’ them out.”

The American analytics company Gallup has found that 68% of Americans approve of labor unions.

The current reading is the highest Gallup has measured since 71% in 1965.

Still, Starbucks has released a statement online that reads in part:

“We do not believe unions are necessary at Starbucks because we know that the real issues are solved through our direct partnership with one another. And we believe every partner deserves to know the facts and to make their own decision.”

”I feel like we’re allowed to have a voice there,” Boykin said in response to this. “And that’s why it hurts so much, like, Starbucks is my family.”

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He says he just wants even more reasons to stay.

”Starbucks has some of the best benefits that I have ever worked with, but why does that mean that we can’t achieve more? Why can’t we be better?”

It could be up to two months before the National Labor Relations Board puts this union up to a vote for this location.