More Edmonton Starbucks workers try to unionize

This marks 6 locations that USW has either unionized or is trying to unionize in Alberta.

Earlier this week, the Alberta Labour Relations Board released their most recent New Applications Report. In the report is a new application for union certification in Alberta.

The application was filed on 13 January 2023 by Local 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 32 workers at the Starbucks location near Capilano Mall in Edmonton.

This follows the news last month that they were trying to unionize workers at the Starbucks location at 75 Street and 68 Avenue in Edmonton. That unionization drive is still ongoing.

Last summer, USW applied on behalf of 41 workers at the Starbucks location near Sherwood Drive and Emerald Drive in Sherwood Park, as well as the location on Baseline Road in the same city, just 3 kilometres away.

Sherwood Park is a suburb of Edmonton.

It also occurs on the heels of a recent successful union certification for Starbucks workers at the Millrise location in Calgary, who had been organizing with USW.

USW recently tried to organize workers at all 5 locations in Lethbridge. The ALRB held their vote on the 15th of July, but it ended up in a tie, which defaults to the status quo.

They’ve since tried a unionization effort at a single store in West Lethbridge, but the results of that 2 December 2022 vote have yet to be made public.

If the votes are in favour for both Edmonton application, as well as the Lethbridge application and all 3 stores are certified, it’d mean that Alberta would have 6 unionized Starbucks stores.

BC is the only other province with unionized stores, with the Langley Valley Centre store becoming the province’s third unionized location this past July. There are unionized locations in Surrey and Victoria, as well. All 3 locations are unionized with USW.

The ALRB scheduled the hearing for this application to occur on the 26th of January.

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

Update (16 August 2022): USW has published their own media release regarding the organizing of both stores.

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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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