What's the Situation?
The situation that I chose for Pro Seminar I was about the ongoing unionization of Starbucks retail stores across the United States. Throughout this project, I put a specific focus on stores in the Portland metro area because I have worked at many of them and have had the opportunity to see what the culture and work environment are like in almost 25 different stores. I have worked in the area for over two years and over that time I have developed a network of peers. I believe that their own views of the situation have given me a wider and more open-minded perspective for this project. The initial process started with just a few of Starbucks retail stores in Buffalo, New York. But it quickly evolved from a few Stores in Buffalo, to stores across the nation. I know of at least five stores in the Portland area alone that have filed for a union, and I have heard rumors about many others who are on the fence about it. It is my opinion that the main objectives of this process are to bargain for better pay, more guaranteed hours, and better staffing. Partners have been asked to take on more and more responsibilities within their roles while Starbucks continues to cut hours and understaff their stores. Starbucks has communicated that they still expect the same level of results with the withering staff, and it has left many partners outraged.