Tied Vote for Lethbridge Starbucks Workers at Five Stores in Alberta

Due to Alberta's labour laws, the workers were unable to secure union representation rights with the United Steelworkers union (USW) at this time.

Sep 8, 2022 - 07:09

After weeks of delays, workers at five Lethbridge Starbucks stores finally had their vote counted today by the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB). The vote was tied. Due to Alberta’s labour laws, the workers were unable to secure union representation rights with the United Steelworkers union (USW) at this time.

“We are disappointed for the workers that their vote today was unsuccessful, but what’s inspiring is their courageous drive and fight to have a stronger voice in the workplace,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada.

“We know that a majority of the workers in the five stores wanted to unionize and it’s extremely frustrating that legal tactics and delays stalled their efforts,” said Lunny. “It is totally unacceptable that joining a union is this difficult in the province of Alberta. Union representation is a fundamental right of workers, but the UCP government has made it very difficult in these last four years.”

The applications for the five stores were filed on May 24, 2022, and a mail ballot vote was authorized in late June with ballots due July 15. The vote was sealed pending objections filed with the ALRB until a resolution was reached by the parties.

“Workers should not be faced with these absurd delays and anti-union tactics from their employers. It’s time for the Alberta government to restore fairness and balance to allow workers to be free to join a union. They can do that by reinstating card-check certification if the majority of workers sign union cards similar to what the B.C. government has implemented,” said Lunny.

“It takes a lot of courage for workers to step forward to join a union, especially when Starbucks is known for their aggressive anti-union campaigns. What’s promising is the vast interest in joining the union and workers have already reached out to say this is not over. We will continue fighting for Starbucks workers across western Canada as every worker deserves better,” said Lunny.

The USW represents Starbucks workers in Sherwood Park and Calgary in Alberta, and in Victoria, Surrey and Langley in B.C.