San Antonio Starbucks workers rally to celebrate one-year anniversary of first union store

In the past year, nearly 270 Starbucks locations, including five in San Antonio, have unionized.

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge Organizers from Starbucks Workers United rally Friday afternoon at Labor Plaza in downtown San Antonio to commemorate the one year anniversary of the first Starbucks location to unionize. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
Organizers from Starbucks Workers United rally Friday afternoon at Labor Plaza in downtown San Antonio to commemorate the one year anniversary of the first Starbucks location to unionize.
At least 40 members of San Antonio's Starbucks Workers United chapter and supporters gathered downtown Friday at a rally commemorating the one-year anniversary of the coffee chain's first store voting to unionize.

The rally at San Antonio's Labor Plaza was one of 10 being held in cities across the country to celebrate the organizing activity at the Elmwood Avenue Starbucks in Buffalo, New York. Employees there voted to go union in December 2021.

Since then, nearly 270 have unionized across the country, including five in the Alamo City. Workers at the San Antonio rally said they joined Starbucks Workers United to demand a living wage and more consistent weekly work schedules.

Even so, the fight is far from over, said Seiya Wayment, an organizer of the rally and a barista at the unionized Starbucks at the corner of St. Mary's and Houston streets.

Wayment accused Starbucks of trying to throttle organizing activity. She said Friday would be the last day for workers at a Seattle store management targeted for closure. Employees there were trying to unionize, but corporate is shutting the location, citing an alleged uptick in crime the area.

"With corporate overall, there's a lot of stalling, not bargaining, trying to shut down unionizations by withholding benefits and threatening to close stores," Wayment said.

She also accused the company of engaging union-busting tactics in its rollout of credit-car tipping at its locations. The option is available at some stores, but not all.

"At my store, you can't tip on a credit card, because we've already unionized," Wayment said.

Wayment declined to say how many other San Antonio locations plan to seek union representation. However, she said the union will continue fighting to ensure baristas are making a living wage, aren't having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and can have consistent work schedules.

"We're not scared," Wayment said. "But a lot of stores are."

Coming soon: SA Current Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting San Antonio stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
Scroll to read more San Antonio News articles

About The Author

Newsletters

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.