• The New York Times has a story about how unionization efforts at Starbucks have entered a new phase, following a series of elections that resulted in the unionizing of employees at some 250 of its 9,000 US stores, and then a kind of "uneasy stalemate in which organizers struggled to sign up new stores even as the company was hard-pressed to reverse their gains."
The Times writes:
"That has led to a third phase of the campaign, in which the union, Workers United, has stepped up efforts to win concessions from the company through collective bargaining, which is scheduled for the coming weeks.
"Some of the concessions sought by the union, like a commitment by the company to stay neutral in future elections, could make it easier for workers to unionize. Others, like paid leave tied to a pandemic, which the company has discontinued, could encourage more workers to join the union by showing it can deliver concrete benefits.
"But to win such concessions and greatly expand the union’s reach, labor experts say, supporters will almost certainly have to increase pressure on the company, through strikes or other means. And that has heightened the importance of a number of cities — in addition to Boston and Buffalo, places like Eugene, Ore.; Albany, N.Y.; and Ann Arbor, Mich. — where there are several unionized stores, dozens of workers willing to coordinate their actions and a community that is largely sympathetic."
• The BBC reports that "the first ever ballot for strikes at a UK Amazon warehouse site has failed to reach the legal threshold for industrial action.
"According to union GMB, it was missed by just three votes, despite 99% of those who took part backing action. UK law states at least 50% of members entitled to vote must do so for strike ballots to be valid.
"Amazon said it had increased pay and offered a 'comprehensive benefits package' to employees in Coventry.