Workers at University City Starbucks vote 14-2 to join national union

Workers at the Starbucks at 39th and Walnut Streets joined a growing national movement. They want fair wages, better scheduling and more.

Listen 0:55
A Starbucks sign

A Starbucks sign is pictured outside a Pennsylvania shop. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Workers at the Starbucks on 39th and Walnut Streets in University City have voted to join the national union, making it the 11th store in Pennsylvania to unionize.

They are now part of Starbucks Workers United, a national group representing employees. These workers are in step with the more than 9,000 workers, which Starbucks calls “partners,” who are calling for safer work conditions and pay. Philadelphia partners said the effort to organize was swift.

“Here in Philadelphia, things got fired up fast,” said Ash Hoffman, in a statement. “My wonderful coworkers and I worked hard to win our union, and I’m so grateful and proud to finally be a part of it all.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

The issues workers hope to address include scheduling, fair wages, gender and racial equity and respect.

In stores across the U.S., judges from three dozen separate decisions, found that the Starbucks company has committed over 300 violations of federal labor law, which include unlawful firings and paying non-union workers more than those part of the union, according to a press release. 

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal