The Scouting Report: A weekly digest
Union lattes, Lambda Chi Alpha, California taxes, spy bear
We start this week in the northern metropolis of Aberdeen.
Membership in private-sector unions has been in a long, steady decline in South Dakota, which The Dakota Scout chronicled last year. But workers at a Starbucks in Aberdeen are swimming upstream against that trend by seeking to unionize their Seventh Avenue store.
The group filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to join Starbucks Workers United, which has successfully unionized more than 300 stores across the country. The union accuses Starbucks of a “ruthless union-busting campaign” by firing union leaders and shuttering union stores, which, if true, would be illegal. The Starbucks chain is a product of Seattle. Seattle these days is known less for union busting than for homeless encampments.
The unionization effort in Aberdeen is led by Demi Waldner, a barista. She says the store is plagued with failing equipment and skeleton crews. In a statement, Waldner says:
“I’m just a college kid and Starbucks was just supposed to be a part-time job, but I fell in love with it — the people, the community, the job itself and keeping coffee and conversation flowing no matter how busy we got. As much as I loved the job, however, I've watched over the past two years as we’ve worked skeleton crews with no reward but the same thing the next day — and the next, and the next. I love the fast-paced environment and thrive in it, but I can't run my floor when I'm also doing the work of two people at once. We deserve better than this, and we're prepared to fight to get it.”
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