Tucson Starbucks votes in favor of unionizing

A Starbucks in Tucson voted to unionize Wednesday afternoon. It is the first in the city and fifth in the state to join a growing national movement.

Ivan Modesto is an employee at the Starbucks at University Boulevard and Euclid Avenue. He said his coworkers decided to move forward with the vote after they heard CEO Howard Schultz criticize unionizing at other locations.

“My fellow co-workers came to me and they were like, I don’t think it’s okay. We should get in contact with the union. And I was like, I’m already in contact with them,” Modesto said.

He also said he and his coworkers have had support from employees that have unionized in other parts of Arizona and will work them and others outside the state during the contract negotiation.

“We were all very nervous, Then, at a certain point, he hadn’t even counted all of the votes, but we got to, I think, eight, and we knew that we’d won at that point. And we just looked at each other with relief,” he said.

The vote came out 11-3.

Modesto said employees from other locations around Tucson have reached out to him with interest in going through the same process and he hopes the vote Wednesday will encourage them to move forward.

Mayor Regina Romero congratulated the staff on Twitter, writing, “Workers deserve justice, equality, and a better life.”


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