MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Results of a vote on unionization for Starbucks workers that were expected Tuesday have been delayed until June 7, the National Labor Relations Board says.
NLRB blamed a mail delay and said both sides had agreed to postpone the count to allow more time for ballots to be returned.
“As of this morning, the New Orleans regional office had only received several ballots, which is unusual for a voting unit of this size, and often signals there has been a delay in mail delivery,” an NLRB spokesperson said.
Nikki Taylor, a Starbucks worker involved in the unionizing efforts and part of the “Memphis 7,” said 30 ballots were sent over a month ago, but she’d been told only three ballots were received.
“We sent our ballots over a month ago. They were just going to New Orleans, I don’t see how they only have three ballots and I’m also trying to figure out why it took them till ten minutes before our count to tell us that. Why wasn’t that something that was done yesterday or somewhere in the week before,” Taylor said.
What was supposed to be a celebration for Starbucks workers in Memphis who were involved in the effort has instead left them distraught, she said.
While LaKota McGlawn, another Memphis 7 member, said this is only a temporary setback.
“Regardless of whether the votes have gotten there or not, it doesn’t change how many votes that we do have and we’re still confident about our win,” McGlawn said.
Seven workers at a Starbucks near Poplar and Highland in Memphis were fired for what the company said were employee violations during unionization protests there in February. The protests have continued.
Employees are seeking higher pay, a safe workplace, and better benefits.