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Starbucks location in Albuquerque the first to unionize in the state

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Gino Gutierrez
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KSFR News
The Starbucks location at Rio Grande and I-40 in Albuquerque was the first Starbucks in New Mexico to file a petition to unionize back in July

The Starbucks located on Rio Grande and I-40 in Albuquerque has become the first store in New Mexico to officially unionize.

The news was announced on their twitter page Thursday morning.

Starbucks employee Jacob Sherwood said he watched the vote live at the store alongside his fellow employees.

“It was like ecstatic. I mean, all the months of anxiety and nervousness, it just all went away once we heard it was ten-to-seven in favor of the union. Everyone was just really ecstatic.”

The process of unionization for this location began back in July, after they filed a petition to unionize.

When KSFR spoke to Sherwood earlier this month during a “sip-in” on Labor Day, he cited constant labor cuts among the numerous issues employees were experiencing at the store.

Sherwood said once the employee filed their petition to unionize, the issues they raised were suddenly taken care of, but this didn’t last for long.

“The moment we filed, all of these issues that we were seeing in the store were magically solved. It’s funny enough that the day the ballots were supposed to be mailed in, which was the 15th. I remember on the next schedule, the schedule following it, it went right back to how it was.”

Sherwood said the scheduling issues have persisted to this day.

Store leadership also watched the vote live according to Sherwood, and have not issued any sort of statement about the results.

With the vote official and the store unionized, the next step in the process is negotiating with Starbucks. But that timeline of when these talks will take place is unclear.

Sherwood said Starbucks is currently negotiating with union stores at a rate of three stores at a time.

With 200+ stores in the United States currently unionized according to Starbucks Workers United, the Albuquerque location will have to wait and see when their turn is.

In an effort to speed up the process, Starbucks Workers United has been issuing several non-economic proposals on their twitter account.

Sherwood said these proposals will give stores something to look forward to while they wait for their turn at the negotiating table.

“These things aren’t economic like a wage increase or a pension benefit, they’re just non-economic proposals that the union is trying to get Starbucks to agree to so that all unionized stores can have something in the meantime.”

Gino Gutierrez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, Gino found interest in broadcasting after falling in love with sports and sports broadcasting. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he majored in mass media journalism. While at UNM, he worked the New Mexico Daily Lobo, serving as both sports and managing editor. He can also be heard providing play-by-play commentary for the Lobo Hockey Network.