Organizers with the Starbucks at The Fountains at Farah shopping center in El Paso have withdrawn their petition to unionize, according to the group’s attorney.
Workers United, the national union supporting the El Paso coffee shop’s unionization efforts, withdrew its petition for representation to the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB approved the withdrawal on June 16, the day before voting was set to begin.
“The circumstances at this store were just not going to make for a free and fair election for the workers is what the union believes,” Manuel Quinto-Pozos, an attorney for Workers United, said Friday. “The union intends to remain in contact with workers and keep them engaged and reassess in the coming months.”
Margie Roman, a barista and union organizer for the Fountain Starbucks, previously blamed Starbucks management for this dwindling support, saying that managers of the corporate-owned store had engaged in union-busting tactics to sow fear and doubt among staff — a claim Starbucks denied.
Other stores across the country, however, have echoed Roman’s claims. In Buffalo, New York — where the first Starbucks store unionized in December 2021 — the regional director of the NLRB issued a complaint against the international coffee chain, charging it with 29 unfair labor practice complaints that included more than 200 alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act.
Roman had announced the Fountain Starbuck’s intention to unionize in late April. Earlier this month, she canceled a protest scheduled at the store; at that time, Roman told El Paso Matters she and other organizers were considering calling off the vote, a mail-in ballot process that was scheduled to start Friday and last through July 11.
Roman has not responded to El Paso Matters’ requests for comment. Starbucks has not returned a request for comment.
Quinto-Pozos said other Starbucks workers in the region have expressed interest in unionizing, though so far none have petitioned to unionize.
Two Starbucks stores in Austin have unionized as well as one in San Antonio.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that union organizers filed a decertification petition. Organizers withdrew the petition.