The Starbucks Union Is Going to Disneyland

Starbucks workers at a store inside Disneyland voted by a nearly two-to-one margin to unionize, one of more than 150 stores nationwide to do so.
Minnie Mouse during the new Magic Happens Parade on Main Street U.S.A. inside Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, Feb 27, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Starbucks workers at the company’s store inside Disneyland voted by a nearly two-to-one margin to unionize Thursday, and several other stores around the country joined them as the union has successfully organized more than 150 stores this year. 

Workers at the Downtown Disney store in Anaheim, California, voted 29-15 in favor of unionizing, according to multiple reports. 

Though the store is particularly notable for being the first on a Disney property to unionize, workers have made complaints that echo those of colleagues at stores around the country who’ve pushed for unionization, including what they say is an arbitrary reduction in hours. 


“We are unionizing to take an active role in our partnership. We should not be a corporate resource to produce profit while they cut our hours to reduce their spending,” Sean Lally, a worker at the Disneyland store, told Fox LA when the store filed for a union election in March. “We challenge Starbucks to live up to its values and be the company it promises to be.”

“Being on Disney property, not only do we receive an incredibly high volume of customers but we are constantly being told to provide an ‘Elevated Experience,’” the store’s organizing committee said in a letter to interim CEO Howard Schultz in March. “However, we are not given the support in staffing, training, inventory, manager involvement, or compensation to make providing an ‘Elevated Experience’ mentally and physically sustainable.”

Another store in Anaheim, which is located across the street from the Disneyland property, voted to unionize last week. More than 150 Starbucks stores across the country have voted to unionize, including eight in California, according to labor outlet More Perfect Union.

Starbucks employees at the Disneyland store join a heavily unionized workforce — last year, four unions comprising nearly 10,000 park employees successfully bargained a new contract with the company that won pay raises and seniority-based bonuses, according to the Los Angeles Times

In addition to the Disneyland store, two stores in Pittsburgh, another in Buffalo, and one in Appleton, Wisconsin voted to unionize Thursday. 

Since the first store in Buffalo voted to unionize in December, more than 85 percent of the nearly 180 stores where ballots have been counted have voted to unionize. 

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