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Two Jacksonville Starbucks are among first in state to unionize

Michelle Corum
The Starbucks at San Jose Boulevard and Ricky Drive was the first Jacksonville location to formally begin the union process.

The Starbucks at San Jose and Ricky Drive in Mandarin along with the Starbucks at San Marco Square both voted to unionize Tuesday, bringing the number of unionized locations in the Sunshine State to three.

Organizers at the Mandarin location succeeded in a close 10-7 vote with nearly half of eligible staff not casting a ballot one way or the other. The San Marco Starbucks chose 8-1 to unionize.

A Tallahassee Starbucks voted to unionize last week, becoming the first in the state to do so. Two Starbucks locations, one in Miami and one in Estero near Fort Myers, also had elections but voted down their unions.

The National Labor Relations Board dealt several blows to Starbucks this year. The company was charged 29 times by the NLRB on Friday, alleging over 200 labor violations aimed at stifling union efforts by corporate and regional management in Buffalo, New York.

The NLRB also ruled earlier this year that Starbucks employees could vote for unions on a store-by-store basis, rather than regionally, something union advocates claimed would dilute pro-union sentiment by mixing locations with no interest in unionizing with franchises that did.

"We're incredibly happy and thankful for everyone in the community who has so far helped us and shown their solidarity," Mason Boykin, a shift supervisor and organizer at the Mandarin Starbucks, said after the vote. "It definitely made everything so much easier and a lot less scary of a process, so I just want to say thank you to everyone and I'm really excited to see what our stores do next."

According to Boykin, what's next is training for the bargaining process with Workers United and Starbucks Workers United. Then, the organizers will collectively bargain with leadership for a unique contract specific to the needs of the employees at their store.

"We want higher wages, we want to fix labor and staffing inconsistencies, we want to see better scheduling and staffing," Boykin said. "I want to see specifically more inclusivity like gender neutral bathrooms, and I want to see more environmental impact, just to name a few."

To date, over 50 Starbucks nationally have voted to unionize while hundreds have began to start the election process. Nearly a dozen have voted down a union, opting not to collectively organize.

Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.