A Buffalo Starbucks Worker Talks About Why He Wants a Union

A conversation with Brian Murray, one of the Buffalo workers, and journalist Jordan Chariton, who recently traveled to Buffalo to speak with Starbucks workers.

Maximillian Alvarez

The Starbucks Workers United hub in Buffalo on November 16, 2021. Libby March for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Starbucks is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain and one of the most recognizable consumer brands in existence. In the US alone, Starbucks has nearly 9,000 corporate-owned stores, and not a single one of them is unionized. But that may be about to change. After leading an organizing campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic and facing tireless efforts by the company to delay, deflate, and defeat union elections with the National Labor Relations Board, workers at three Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York, have submitted their ballots, which are being counted as we speak. In this mini-cast, we talk with Brian Murray, one of the Buffalo workers and organizers with SBWorkers United, and journalist Jordan Chariton, who recently traveled to Buffalo to speak with Starbucks workers and report on their fight for Status Coup.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemu​si​carchive​.org)

  • Jules Taylor, Working People Theme Song”

Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.

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