Sip-in at Starbucks in Support of Union Organizing Effort Draws Many

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Some of the Sip-in Crowd at the Starbucks Coffee in the Old Port of Portland Today.

Governor Janet T. Mills(D) Addressing the NationLGovernors Association (NGA) Summer Meeting in July in Portland. .

Jason Shedlock, With His Three Daughters at the Sip-in This Morning.

Patrick Bruce, National Workers’ United, with Mandie Cantrell, Starbucks, Old Port, Union Organizer at Sip-in.  No Date Has Been Set for the Union Election Yet. A Hearing on the Matter is Scheduled for September 13th.

Ryan Schmitz, a Local Workers’ Rights Attorney.  Attended the Sip-in at Sarbucks This Morning.

Labor Day was celebrated by many in the Portland area  at a Sip-in at Starbucks, Middle Street, in the Old Port of Portland today.  The event drew a crowd of union sympathizers and officials where the talk centered on the importance of unions in our lives while enjoying a cup of Starbucks Coffee at the same time. One conversation focused on the fact that unions have become more popular this year – with 71% of the population supporting them – a dramatic increase from previous years.

“There’s a reason why union members call each other brothers, sisters and kin.  We all stand with our family at Starbucks.  Just as we would with anyone fighting for our voice in the workplace,” said Jason Shedlock, Regional Organizer with the Laborers’ Union and President of the Maine Building Trades Council at the Sip-in at the Old Port Starbucks this morning.

Earlier in the morning Brandi McNease, union organizer for the Augusta Chipotle and Mandi Cantrell, union organizer for the Portland Starbucks, attended a labor meeting  at the Maine Heritage Center hosted by the Southern Maine Labor Council. Governor Janet T. Mills, (D), the first woman AG of Maine and its first woman Governor, addressed the crowd of almost 200 attendees.

According to McNease the Governor emphasized the need to keep politics civil and productive.  “We can’t go back,” she said in her semi-campaign speech.  “It’s important for the working people of Maine to have control over their lives,” the Governor said.

Ryan Schmitz, a Portland workers’ rights attorney, said he attended the Sip-in in “solidarity” with the Starbucks employees who have filed to unionize.  A graduate of the prestigious Georgetown Law, he said he went to law school as a young idealist.  “I thought Georgetown Law would give me the credentials to go out and make a difference.  I have no illusions that the world will be saved by civil rights lawyers.  It will be saved by workers unionizing and taking their power back.  It’s a recognition that people can’t get what they want through politics, but they can by organizing.”

McNease, the organizer of the Augusta Chiptole union effort, said she filed for a union election on June 23rd.  There are 18 employees and 14 have signed union cards.  Thirty % of the employees needs to indicate they are pro-union by signing that union card.  She has 75% of employees in that camp.  “We are fighting against corporations.  Corporations influence politicans with their money.  We have a big fight ahead of us, but nothing will change without people standing up,” NcNease said.

“This Labor Day, as we reflect on the contributions of working men and women across Maine, the leaders, lawmakers and labor advocates who have advanced the rights of working families throughout our history, let us all recommit to achieving an economy that values and provides an opportunity for people to succeed.- an economy where every person can find a good-paying job in a rewarding career that provides for their family and where every small business owner with a dream can find talented workers to help make that dream a reality.  In solidarity with Maine’s working men and women, and in partnership with the employers who rely on their skills to succeed every day. my Administration will continue to do all we can to strengthen our workforce and our economy by supporting hardworking Maine people and delivering the resources they need to succeed” said Governor Janet T. Mills (D) in a press release issued from her office this morning.

For more background information, please visit post herein dated August 18, 2022 -“Starbucks Union Organizer Well Acquainted with the Union Experience.”