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Langley Valley Centre Starbucks workers join Steelworkers, becoming third unionized store in B.C.

July 7, 2022

Starbucks workers at Langley’s Valley Centre, 20151 Fraser Highway, have had their union certification application approved by the British Columbia Labour Relations Board. The workers become the third Starbucks group in B.C. to join the United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 2009. There are 25 workers at the Valley Centre store.

“We at Valley Centre decided to join the union because we believe in supporting each other as a team. Starbucks preaches a team environment, but like every corporation, it is each worker on their own against management,” said Sarah Anderson, a barista at the Valley Centre Starbucks.

“We believe that there are benefits that can only be achieved if we bond together to fight for them. We worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic and have had safety and security issues that the company has not fully addressed. In joining the union, we want to fight for all our partners to get what they deserve – a safe and unified workplace for all.”

The Starbucks workers achieved the 55% threshold for automatic union certification under B.C.’s new single-step certification laws implemented last month by the province’s NDP government. The new legislation makes it more difficult for corporations to pressure, intimidate and otherwise deter workers from joining unions.

“We are proud to welcome more Starbucks workers to our growing union family,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada. “The Valley Centre baristas are joining the growing number of Starbucks workers across North America who are organizing for better working conditions and wages. We look forward to continuing to assist these workers who are coming together to be heard and win the respect they deserve from Starbucks.”

The B.C. Labour Relations Board also ordered the Valley Centre bargaining unit to be part of the recently organized Clayton Crossing Store in Surrey.

“We are pleased by the Board’s order to include the workers at Valley Centre in Langley with the Surrey Clayton Crossing certification. This will mean the two stores will be treated as one bargaining unit and serviced under one collective agreement,” said Lunny.  

The USW represents Starbucks workers at the Douglas Street store in Victoria, B.C., and has filed applications for six other stores in Alberta where workers are seeking union certification votes. 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.

Workers interested in joining the United Steelworkers union can learn more about the benefits at betterworknow.ca or call 1-888-879-2411 (toll-free).

Scott Lunny, USW Western Canada Director, 604-329-5308, slunny@usw.ca
Brett Barden, USW Communications, 604-445-6956, bbarden@usw.ca

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