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United Steelworkers win first contract for Calgary Starbucks workers

August 4, 2023

In a huge victory, the United Steelworkers union (USW) has successfully negotiated and secured the first-ever collective agreement for Starbucks workers at the Calgary Millrise Centre store. The workers voted to accept their new three-year contract on Thursday. This milestone agreement sets a new standard for workers’ rights and protections within the coffee industry and reinforces the USW’s commitment to advocating for fair wages, workplace safety and improved working conditions.

After months of negotiations, the contract becomes the first unionized corporate Starbucks agreement reached in Alberta and the second in Canada with the USW.

“Reaching this deal is such a ground-breaking achievement for us because it does not just benefit the Starbucks workers in Calgary, it sets a precedent for all Starbucks workers as well as the broader coffee industry,” said Jacob Dickenscheid, USW Local 1-207 bargaining committee member.

The union was able to bargain improved working conditions, better job security, established mechanisms for resolving disputes and the contract gives the workers the ability to have a voice in the issues that impact their work lives. The workers will also receive wage increases of 5% upon ratification and an additional 5% over the following two years.

“I am so proud of my fellow partners. Every step of the way, along a road that was foreign to all of us, they stayed the course and kept engaged, ensuring that the process and results were informed and democratic. This contract shows Starbucks does value us, as difficult as negotiations were,” said Dickenscheid.

“One of the most exciting parts of our accomplishment is that we have taken the ‘blueprint’ the Douglas St. Starbucks store in Victoria set out for us and improved upon it wherever we could. This new deal will hopefully inspire partners here in Canada and across the United States where over 300 stores are currently struggling to reach their first collective agreements,” added Dickenscheid.

In July 2022, the Calgary Starbucks workers voted to unionize after reaching out to the USW to achieve better working conditions and to address quality concerns and safety problems that had become daily issues in the store.

“We are thrilled to have secured the first contract for Starbucks workers in Calgary,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada and the Territories.

“This achievement demonstrates the power of collective action and highlights the significance of unions in securing better wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers. This success is because of the support and solidarity of the Starbucks workers, from organizing their workplace through to this ground-breaking first contract,” added Lunny.

The USW represents Starbucks workers at stores in Calgary, Edmonton and Sherwood Park in Alberta, and Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey and Langley in British Columbia, as well as a newly organized store in Waterloo, 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.

Starbucks workers interested in joining the USW can learn more about the benefits at betterworknow.ca/starbucks.

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Media Contact

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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