MARYSVILLE — Starbucks workers at a Marysville store have moved to unionize following a three-day strike in protest of working conditions.
Strike organizer Katie McCoy said she and another employee walked out of the Lakewood Crossing store on Thursday night after being short-staffed.
McCoy said she was asked to stay past closing time and run the store with her coworker, who is almost nine months pregnant.
“It becomes really impossible to run the floor” with two people, said McCoy, 18. “I work doubles quite frequently, and am also a full-time student.”
Employees continued the strike on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, picketing for hours each day in front of the store at 17101 27th Ave. NE. The store remained open during the protest.
“Our message was to show that we want fair working conditions in our store, and a democratic say in our workplace,” McCoy said.
Meanwhile, more than 70% of the store’s employees have signed cards in support of a union, becoming at least the second Starbucks in Snohomish County to seek a union authorization vote. The first store was in Everett in February.
“It all happened really fast, it wasn’t super planned,” said McCoy, a senior at Stanwood High School. “Once we hit the ground, we started running, and everyone hopped on board.”
If employees vote for a union, they want to bargain for higher wages, better equipment and consistent staffing and schedules, she said.
More than 100 Starbucks stores across the country have moved to unionize since December, after two Buffalo shops sparked a movement. Workers at a Seattle store voted for a union last month.
“We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed.”
In Everett, Starbucks workers at the Broadway and 37th Street store are hoping to vote on a union in the coming weeks, organizer Jacob Fullerton said.
At the Marysville store, McCoy said, she recently joked with a coworker about the recent turn of events.
“The other day I was doing calculus at home and now I’m out on strike,” she said.