Lethbridge Starbucks workers try to unionize again

Earlier this week, the Alberta Labour Relations Board released their latest new applications report and in it was a new application for unionization.

The application was submitted on 1 November 2022 by Local 1-207 of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, also known as United Steelworkers.

USW is applying on behalf of 24 workers at the Starbucks location at 550 University Drive West in Lethbridge.

This isn’t the first time that Starbucks workers at this location have tried to unionize. As I reported earlier this year, workers at all 5 Lethbridge locations, including this one, attempted to unionize under USW, but the certification vote resulted in a tie, which defaulted to the certification failing.

This certification application is for just this one store, however. If they succeed and workers at other locations see the benefits of unionization, broader unionization in Lethbridge may still be possible.

Workers at Starbucks locations in Calgary and Sherwood Park successfully unionized under USW earlier this year.

According to the ALRB hearing table, they’ll be hearing arguments related to the certification from USW 207 and Starbucks on 16 November.

Since the ALRB doesn’t archive their new application reports on their website, here’s a copy of the most recent one.

Update (24 November 2022): According to a Starbucks worker at this location, the application to hold a certification vote has been approved, and the workers will vote this Saturday (26 November 2022) at the West Lethbridge Towne Centre location but only within a two-hour window: 11:00–13:00.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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