Baristas from two Fraser Valley Starbucks have voted in favour of strike action over wages and hours of work.
Workers in the Clayton Heights Starbucks in Surrey and the Valley Centre Starbucks in Langley have voted 91 per cent to go on a picket line should a deal not be reached, said the United Steelworkers Union Tuesday in a news release.
“The baristas joined the union looking for respect from their employer, and quite frankly they are tired of the company dragging its feet and continuing to disrespect them by not reaching a fair deal,” said Al Bieksa, president of the Local 2009.
The Seattle-based coffee giant had tabled an offer on Aug. 29 that included tentatively agreed-upon language, said the union, but wages and hours of work remain sticking points.
Bieksa said workers should be able to work when they are available.
“Right now, Starbucks continues to hire people, which is good, but sometimes they hire too many people and then everyone suffers through hours being cut and promised hours are not kept,” he said. “These workers need better protection for stable hours and scheduling.”
If the parties can’t reach a deal, the union said it will ask the B.C. Labour Relations Board for mediation.
Starbucks has seen a wave of unionizations in recent years. Victoria was the first Starbucks to join the United Steelworkers in August 2020.
There are four unionized Starbucks in B.C., though the company recently announced that the unionized Vancouver location would close at the end of September. Stores in Calgary, Edmonton, Sherwood Park in Alta. and in Waterloo and Ajax, Ont. have also joined the union.
The United Steelworkers is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 225,000 members in Canada and more in the U.S. and the Caribbean.