Greeley Starbucks becomes 8th Colorado shop to unionize

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A Starbucks cafe in downtown Denver.

A group of baristas in Greeley won their union election on Tuesday, cementing their shop as the latest in the state to make the move. 

The shop at 2604 11th Avenue is the first to unionize in Northern Colorado. At least seven other locations of the coffee chain in Denver and Colorado Springs have done the same so far this year. 

Greeley workers say they’re seeking better safety conditions and communication with management. 

“We got to stop working with these fake woke corporations that only want to put you first on paper,” said Jacob Litteral, a barista who supported the campaign. “Voting (in support of a) union is the first step to putting ourselves first.”

The election results mean workers will join the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United along with over 200 other Starbucks locations nationwide. 

Next, they’ll have to begin the uphill climb of negotiating their first contract with Starbucks. The company has been staunchly against the unionization of its stores, and union shops around the country have struggled to get the company to the bargaining table for months. 

In Colorado, Starbucks reps have contested the validity of an election at a store in Colorado Springs. Workers in Denver also filed several complaints with the National Labor Relations Board over alleged illegal firings of pro-union baristas. 

Starbucks denies the allegations, and the complaints are still under review by the NLRB. 

This week, the company sent letters to more than 200 stores across the country that have voted to unionize, offering a three-week window in October to begin talks. 

“We look forward to these negotiations and hopefully setting dates and securing locations for contract bargaining,” the company said. 

Another Colorado location in Breckenridge is expected to hold a union election on Oct. 18.