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Tallahassee Starbucks becomes the first Florida location to unionize

The exterior view of a Starbucks Coffee shop.
Paul Sakuma
The exterior view of a Starbucks Coffee shop.

A Tallahassee Starbucks on John Knox and North Monroe became the first Florida location Tuesday to unionize. Employees voted 16-1 in favor of unionization. The location will work alongside other stores across the country that have also voted to unionize, but each store will bargain individually with the international coffee chain.

“It is amazing how much support we received and how many people have been watching this,” says Calum Johnson, a barista at the store, “because when we posted that our store won our election on Twitter, we received over 48,000 likes on the tweet, which is so overwhelming, like, none of us know how to handle it.”

Johnson is unsure what will come of the bargaining process but is looking forward to having a bigger say in the terms of his employment.

“We’re hoping that with how many stores are filing for election and how many that are winning,” says Johnson, “we hope that Starbucks will acknowledge us and bargain in good faith.”

Two other Starbucks stores in Tallahassee, one on Magnolia Drive and another on West Tennessee Street have filed their union paperwork but are not yet at the vote-counting stage of the process.

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Brett Rutherford is a reporter and news researcher at WFSU Pubic Media. From Riverview, Florida, he has earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. During his time at Florida State, he was a reporter within the sports department at WVFS, the student-run on-campus radio station. In 2020, he served as Sports Director during his senior year and hosted the weekly talk show Tomahawk Talk.

Email Brett: brutherford2@fsu.edu