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Ajax Starbucks workers vote ‘Yes’ for union – United Steelworkers

August 30, 2023

TORONTO – Just in time for Labour Day, workers at the Harwood Avenue Starbucks store in Ajax, Ont., have voted “Yes” to joining the United Steelworkers (USW) union, because they can get better treatment, a safer workplace and better pay and benefits through collective bargaining.

“The amount of support that the USW has provided for baristas is incredible. They knew every tactic that management was going to pull to try to convince baristas that we didn’t need a union. I would recommend them to any workplace where there’s interest in unionizing,” said Carissa, a worker at the Ajax store.

This is the second successful union vote by Starbucks workers in Ontario. Workers at Starbucks in Waterloo Town Square voted to join the USW in May.

“There is no downside to unionizing – the more focus we put on workers’ rights and respecting the hard work that goes into these jobs, the better we can all make our futures. Everyone deserves to have a liveable wage and be treated fairly,” said Lucas, an Ajax Starbucks worker.

A number of workers at the store contacted the USW about forming a union because they were frustrated at shifts being cancelled too often and not having enough hours to qualify for benefits. Workers believed their health and safety concerns were being ignored by managers and the company.

“I’m so proud to welcome the Ajax Starbucks workers into the Steelworkers union,” said Myles Sullivan, USW District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada). “Voting ‘Yes’ for the USW gives workers the strength to bargain for better.”

Ontario workers who want to learn more about forming a union with the USW can contact Darlene Jalbert at or 613-362-4414. All contact is confidential.

The USW represents Starbucks workers at stores in Calgary, Edmonton and Sherwood Park in Alberta; Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey and Langley in B.C., and at the Waterloo Town Square store in Ontario.

The USW also represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.

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Media Contact

Myles Sullivan, USW District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada), 416-243-8792
Darlene Jalbert, USW Organizing, 613-362-4414,
Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 647-522-1630,

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