Renton Village Starbucks files petition to unionize

On Jan. 30, workers at the Grady Way location said they are unionizing due to multiple factors, including short-staffing and inconsistent scheduling.

Joining well over 300 Starbucks locations across the country, workers at the Renton Village location have officially filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize with Starbucks Workers United.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Renton Village workers sent a letter to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan to announce their organizing campaign, saying that they are unionizing because local workers face short-staffing, inconsistent scheduling, health and safety hazards and accusing Starbucks of putting “profits over partners.”

“Our store has had a lot of issues that have gotten more intense over time,” said Jay Richardson, who has been a barista at the Renton Village location for two years. “I realized my options were to quit and end up with the same problems at another job. Or I could stand up, support my coworkers, and start doing something about those problems. Workers are strongest when we’re united.”

From a press release, the Renton Village partners said that by unionizing, they were joining a “quickly expanding nationwide movement of over 9,000 baristas organizing together for justice, fighting for improvements on core issues including respect, living wages, racial and gender equity, and fair scheduling.”

More than 360 Starbucks stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia have voted to unionize since 2021. There are currently over 9,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S.