The Washington Post has a story about how a unionization effort at a single Dollar General in Connecticut, which takes place in the context of broader labor unrest around the country …and offers at least one path that could be available to Starbucks, which is facing a similar movement.
The Post notes that "all over the country, workers who had labored through a global pandemic for low pay and meager benefits were concluding that they deserved better from their bosses. Wages were rising and a wave of strikes was sweeping across the country, hitting iconic American brands such as Kellogg’s and John Deere." In Connecticut, the Post writes, there was about to be "one of the most lopsided battles of the ongoing low-wage-worker revolt.
"On one side: six Dollar General employees, most of whom were making the minimum wage or just slightly above it. The group included a community college student, a struggling musician who had recently moved back home and two single moms, one of whom was Parsons. On the other: a company with yearly revenue approaching $34 billion, more than 157,000 employees and 17,683 stores, not one of which was unionized."
You can read the story here.
- KC's View:
Spoiler alert: The unionization vote at one Dollar General store succeeded. Dollar General went to court to challenge the validity of the 4-2 vote. Dollar General fired an employee who was responsible for the unionization movement. And then, Dollar General closed the store - it was the only place in town other than a c-store that sold frozen food, snacks and canned goods - based on what it said was an “assessment of the store’s future profitability.”
I don't think this is a path that Starbucks is likely to choose, but it certainly offers one option that it available to it … and you know that the company's efforts in that one case will reverberate all over the country.