A U.S. labor official granted the request, rejecting the company’s arguments against holding store-by-store votes.
In a Friday ruling, the National Labor Relations Board's regional director ordered that ballots be mailed out Jan. 14 to employees at a store in Mesa, Arizona, according to Bloomberg.
The regional director ruled that the employees of a single worksite constitute an appropriate voter pool for a union election.
Employees at the store have until Jan. 28 to return their ballots.
The ruling follows a labor victory last month in which Starbucks employees in New York voted to establish the first unionized restaurant among the coffee chain’s thousands of corporate-run U.S. sites.
Starbucks employee Brian Murray, center, and other employees and supporters react as votes are read during a viewing party for their union election on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Buffalo, New York. (Associated Press / AP Newsroom)
The movement to unionize has gained momentum since as workers in cities including Boston; Chicago; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle all have petitioned to unionize.
Ticker Security Last Change Change % SBUX STARBUCKS CORP. 107.57 -3.57 -3.21%
The labor group representing the New York and Arizona workers is the Service Employees International Union affiliate Workers United.
In response to the Friday ruling, a Starbucks spokesperson referenced a December letter to employees at the New York store in which the company’s North America president Rossann Williams said, "We do not want a union between us as partners," but that "we respect the legal process," and "will bargain in good faith."
Employees at the newly unionized New York store have staged a walkout since Wednesday over what they say are insufficient COVID-19 safeguards and staffing.
Starbucks has said it exceeds guidelines from experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention