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Knoxville Starbucks workers celebrate union win despite company challenge

Knoxville Starbucks workers celebrate union win despite company challenge

Organizers at Starbucks in Knoxville are confident the union vote will go their way once the NLRB resolves a challenge issued by the company.

Knoxville, TN- Yet another Starbucks location looks set to join the ranks of unionized stores — as soon as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) resolves the company’s challenge to one of the ballots.

Starbucks baristas in Knoxville celebrate after their union election ballots were tallied by the NLRB. © Screenshot/Facebook/SBWorkersUnited

Starbucks workers in Knoxville, Tennessee, gathered Tuesday as ballots were counted in their union vote. They first ran for election with the NLRB in December.

There were big celebrations as the results came in 8-7 in favor of organizing, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

But Starbucks disputed an unopened final ballot, arguing that because it came from a assistant store managerit shouldn’t count.

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Chris Baumann, director of Workers United Southern Region, said the NLRB will rule on the challenge at a hearing in two weeks.

Union supporters need a simple majority plus one to win. This means that if the unopened vote is allowed to pass but is not in favor of the union, the effort will have failed.

Nonetheless, workers seem confident they have the numbers they need to unionise. Aa press conference after the count, Local Organizing Committee member Maggie Carter said: “Despite all of the aggressive, anti-union corporate tactics throughout this campaign, thankfully, workers’ rights here in Knoxville prevailed.”

Starbucks Workers United also declared victory on Twitter, writing: “Starbucks Merchants Drive in Knoxville, TN just WON their union vote and will become the first unionized Starbucks store in the South.”

If the results go in their favor, the Knoxville site would become the ninth unionized Starbucks in the United States.