SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — After a months-long battle between employees at the Starbucks in Scottsboro and corporate management, the store was officially unionized.
Employees began the journey to unionize back in June. They filed a union election with Starbucks, stating they were inspired by workers at a Birmingham location who formed a union at the end of May.
The store located off of John T. Reid Parkway and employees began voting to unionize at the end of July. News 19 attended the virtual counting of the union ballots. In total, there were eight “yes” votes, eight “no” votes, and four challenged votes.
“We were all ecstatic,” said employees Garrison Ellison, Emma Ellison, and Carly Gonzalez. “We were all on a Zoom call. It just felt like a huge pressure, and this huge weight was finally lifted off our chest after going to work almost everyday wondering if you were about to be the next one fired or written up because you were pro-union.”
“Just to finally get that call saying they counted it… it was amazing,” the trio continued. “It shows to other Starbucks stores out there that if we can do it here in a rural community… then any Starbucks store can do it.”
In an update on October 31, the National Labor Relations Board updated the vote tallies to 9 votes for a union, 8 against, and 3 challenged votes.
In a press release Tuesday, the North Alabama Area Labor Council (NAALC) congratulated the Scottsboro location on winning the union election.
“Unions in North Alabama are proud of these workers for seeing through the companies lies and trusting each other instead,” the organization wrote. “We stand ready to support these workers in whatever way possible.”
News 19 has followed this story since the beginning.
We spoke with several employees over the course of the last couple of months and even saw them through several of their co-workers being fired due to their efforts to unionize, according to those employees.