Montrose-area Starbucks becomes first Houston location to unionize

In an 11-3 vote, workers at the Starbucks on South Shepherd near West Alabama voted to form a union on Thursday.


A Montrose-area Starbucks has become the first location in Houston to unionize.

In an 11-3 vote, workers at the Starbucks on South Shepherd near West Alabama voted to form a union on Thursday. Employee Madeline Gierkey said they were motivated to stand up for worker’s rights.

“We know that we are valuable as workers and we respect each other and we just fought a hard fight together and we know what we deserve,” Gierkey said. “But I do think there are a lot of people out there too who are united in their struggles, but just aren’t vocal about it.”

The Houston location is the seventh Starbucks in Texas to join Starbucks Workers United, a collective of unionized Starbucks locations across the country — so far, more than 200 locations across the nation have voted to unionize.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation Executive Director Hany Khalil commended the news, which he said was proof of what’s possible “when working people stand together.”

“We're thrilled Starbucks employees chose to give themselves the right to negotiate a contract with management to improve their wages, benefits, and working conditions,” the statement read. “This isn't just a win for the Starbucks workers — this is a win for all Houston workers fighting for a better life."

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Lucio Vasquez

Lucio Vasquez

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Lucio Vasquez is a newscast producer at Houston Public Media, NPR’s affiliate station in Houston, Texas. Over the last two years, he's covered a wide range of topics, from politics and immigration to culture and the arts. Lately, Lucio has focused his reporting primarily on public safety and criminal justice...

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Jack Williams

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