The United Steelworkers union (USW) has successfully negotiated the first-ever collective agreement for Starbucks workers at Beaver Brook Square in Sherwood Park, Alta. The workers voted on the agreement in recent days and the new three-year contract was fully ratified on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
The contract is the second of its kind negotiated by the USW at a corporate Starbucks store in Alberta and the third in Canada. This contract builds off the collective agreement from the Calgary Millrise Centre store and continues to pave the way with a new standard for workers’ rights and protections within the coffee industry. Securing this collective agreement further underscores USW’s dedication to achieving equitable wages, ensuring workplace safety, and enhancing working conditions for all workers.
“Our first contract is a solid foundation and I am thankful for the hard work of those who bargained before us in both Calgary and Victoria,” said Q Gaehring, USW Local 1-207 bargaining committee member.
The union was able to negotiate improved working conditions, better job security, mechanisms for resolving disputes, and ensuring the workers will have a real voice in the issues that impact their work lives. The workers also receive wage increases of 5% upon ratification and an additional 5% over the following two years.
“Our experience was made far easier by the opportunities USW provided us to connect with and learn from other Starbucks workers who had already begun this process. We hope to continue offering similar support to those still coming to the table across Canada and the United States,” added Gaehring.
“From the moment the Beaver Brook partners joined the USW, they have stood together in solidarity and were very patient throughout the entire process. These workers realized the power that joining a union could bring to them and I am confident that this deal will continue to inspire other partners to achieve better in their workplaces here in Alberta and across North America,” said Misty Lafond, Second Vice-President and Business Agent with USW Local 1-207.
The Beaver Brook Starbucks partners voted to unionize in August 2022 after reaching out to the USW to achieve better working conditions.
“We are delighted to have successfully bargained the first contract for these Starbucks partners at the Beaver Brook store in Sherwood Park,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada and the Territories.
“This accomplishment showcases the strength of unity of the Starbucks partners and underscores the important role unions play in achieving improved wages, benefits and working conditions for every worker,” Lunny added.
“The credit for this achievement goes to the unwavering support and solidarity of Starbucks workers, from the initial stages of organizing their workplace to the ratification of this first contract. Our union is now looking forward to working with the partners at the Amberley Way store to get them a first contract as well.”
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 recently organized stores in Waterloo and Ajax, 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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