Employees at a Starbucks store in west Fayetteville voted to unionize Monday.
Workers at the store, located on Wedington Drive, voted 11-9 at an election conducted by National Labor Relations Board officials. There were 21 employees at the store, of whom 20 voted.
“This is an important step toward our goal of fair representation in the workplace,” said Dylan Hartsfield, a shift supervisor and the organizer of the effort. “We are fighting for a true partnership between the baristas and the company. We hope that Starbucks will come to the bargaining table and hear what we have to say.”
The store is the 261st Starbucks nationally and the first in Arkansas to unionize. Arkansas is a right-to-work state, meaning employees joining a company with a union are not required to join the union.
“At Starbucks, we respect our partners’ right to organize but believe that working directly, side-by-side, without a third-party, is the best way to continue to elevate the partner experience at Starbucks,” Starbucks said through a company spokesperson. “That said, where partners choose to be represented by a union, we respect that choice. We are committed to bargaining in good faith, and hope the union does the same.
“We will continue to make decisions grounded by our Mission and Values and aligned with labor and employment laws.”