Employees at a Times Square location that combines an Amazon and Starbucks store have petitioned for a union election. Workers claimed that they were obliged to do the duties of two jobs for the salary of one.
The Starbucks-Amazon combination store is the second of its kind, and this petition is the first one to be submitted there. In upper Midtown Manhattan, the two businesses launched their first joint venture in late 2021.
Additionally, each company is dealing with unprecedented strikes. Seven of the more than 250 Starbucks stores are in New York City, which has a unionized workforce.
Attempts to unionize Amazon warehouses have also been made, although just one in Staten Island has been successful to date.
A representative for Starbucks Workers United confirmed that the union has been successful in organizing seven other outlets in downtown Manhattan.
There is a lot of staff turnover at the Times Square site. Several employees claim they were transferred there without consent from other Starbucks locations.
There are no cashiers since the stores use Amazon Go’s renowned “Just Walk Out” technology. Instead, customers select what they want, scan their phones, and then leave.
Starbucks counter is available for mobile pickup
The Starbucks counter is exclusively available for mobile pickup. Customers can sit in a lounge area with seating to eat or work. It attracts a lot of clients due to its handy placement on the ground floor of the New York Times building.
Employees claim they are expected to do the duties of both an Amazon Go employee and a Starbucks employee—but only for the payment of one.
A worker said, “We’re unionizing at this Starbucks because we are doing Amazon work for Starbucks pay. We are not given the proper resources to manage a store of this type in such a high volume area.”
Starbucks and Amazon protested together
On Labor Day, union activists from Starbucks and Amazon protested together to demand recognition from their companies.
They marched from the Fifth Avenue mansion of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.