Starbucks Old Port Workers Expected to Become Second in State to Unionize


Mandie Cantrell on a Work  Shift  at Starbucks Coffee, in the Old Port of Portand, in August of 2022.

US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) Who is Seeking her 8th Term at October 13, 2022 Televised Debate with Wanna’ be Congessman Ed Thelander (R).  For More on that Debate, Please visit Post Herein Dated October 13, 2022.

Starbucks workes are voting today on whether or not to unionize according to Mandi Cantrell, an organizer of the union effort at the Middle Street location in the Old Port of Portland.  Workers started voting this morning from 10:00 am – noon and will start up again between 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. to end the day.

If this is a successful vote to unionize as is expected, the Old Port location will be the second store in Maine to unionize.  The first was in Biddeford according to a press release from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s (D) office earlier this month.

In August 2022, workers at Starbucks sent a one page letter to Howard Schultz, President and CEO announcing their intent to unionize.  This letter followed numerous meetings on the subject of whether or not to vote to unionize.  Some of those meetings took place in Cantrell’s kitchen in the Tralawny Building on Congress Street in downtown Portland.  An apartment building that has undergone its own unionizing effort apparently to the chagrin of its owner Geoffrey Rice – who also lives in the building.

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) and thirty (30) of her colleagues urged the new Starbucks President and CEO to “embrace unionizing stores” in a one page letter dated October 3, 2022 according to the aforementioned press release issued on October 4, by her office.

The October 3rd letter from Congresswoman Pingree and her colleagues expressed concern regarding increased pay and benefits being withheld from actively unionizing Starbucks employees nationwide.  The letter from federal lawmakers said the reported discrimination against unionizing employees could set an “alarming precedent that, in our opinion, is not consistent with US labor laws, including the National Labor Relations Act.”

The press release from Congresswoman Pingree’s office went on to say that of the 9,000 Starbucks locations nationwide, 242 have unionized.  In July, the Starbucks in Biddeford became the first Maine location to unionize.  Workers at the Old Port Portland Starbucks are organizing to become the second unionized Starbucks in Maine – citing pay and safety concerns.

In September, Congresswoman Pingree cosponsored and helped the House pass the “Protecdting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act – the most comprehensive pro-labor legislation in decades.

“Things are really going well,” said Mandie Cantrell, an organizer of the union vote today.  “All the store windows are taped in and it’s been turned into a polling station for the day,” she wrote in an email to this blogger.

Stay tuned for voting results which may be available this evening.

For more on the Starbucks Coffee company’s employees effort to unionize, please visit post herein dated August 18, 2022.