Workers at a Starbucks cafe in Pleasanton formed a union Wednesday, marking the 19th store in California to unionize, union officials said.

Workers at the Rose Avenue and Main Street store voted 8-4 to form a union to bargain for fair representation and better working conditions.

Starbucks managers companywide have allegedly been cutting their workers’ hours, disregarding workers’ safety and failing to provide adequate staff, according to the union Starbucks Workers United.

Shift supervisor Natasha Fields said she is left with just one of two crew members on the late morning to evening shift and upwards of 70 school children come in during rushes at the Pleasanton store.

Workers at this Pleasanton Starbucks location at 511 Main St. successfully unionized after voicing displeasure over lost hours and working conditions. (Google image)

A crew member may have to provide crowd control because sometimes the students get rowdy, she said.

“We’re just really excited to have a seat at the table,” Fields said.

Company officials are also allegedly refusing to bargain in good faith, union officials said.

But Starbucks officials said, “Starbucks has fully honored the process laid out by the [National Labor Relations Board] and remains fully committed to our partners’ right to organize and engage in lawful labor activities.”

Yet managers have fired nearly 200 union leaders to thwart the formation of unions at stores, according to Starbucks Workers United.

“We’re just really excited to have a seat at the table.”

Natasha Fields, Pleasanton Starbucks employee

Company officials responded by saying, “Starbucks trains managers that no partner will be disciplined for engaging in lawful union activity and that there will be no tolerance for any unlawful anti-union behavior.”

Workers at Starbucks stores nationwide have been forming unions at a pace not seen in two decades in corporate America, according to Starbucks Workers United. More than 290 stores are now union shops.

Workers at a store in Oakland announced last month that they are seeking to form a union. A store in San Francisco and at least one in Berkeley have unionized.

Workers at the San Francisco store held a one-day strike on March 22.

Fewer than 3 percent of U.S. Company-owned stores have chosen to petition for union representation though, according to Starbucks.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

Keith Burbank is currently a fulltime reporter covering Alameda County and Oakland news for Bay City News. He has also worked on the Data Points project for Local News Matters, finding trends and stories about the region through data. In 2019, he was a California Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, producing a series about homeless deaths in Santa Clara County. He worked as a swing shift editor for the newswire for several years as well. Outside of journalism, Keith enjoys computer programming, math, economics and music.