The vote comes as Starbucks locations across the U.S. are organizing and hosting their own elections, including several that have already succeeded in Texas. A Starbucks in New Braunfels became the eighth in the state to successfully unionize earlier this month.
According to previous reporting from Community Impact Newspaper, employees at the store who were leading the effort said their goal in unionizing was to secure stronger bargaining power. The effort began in July when workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board indicating 30% of the store’s workers were on board with unionizing.
For the effort to be successful, a majority of the store's employees needed to vote in favor of unionizing in a vote that took place by mail in September. With an 11-3 result, that hurdle was cleared Sept. 22.
Moving forward, the union will provide employees an avenue by which they can bargain with Starbucks company officials over issues such as compensation, benefits and work environment. Because Texas is a right-to-work state, employees cannot be forced to join the union, but they are also protected from punishment if they do join.
The union also does not guarantee a contract will be passed, labor law experts said, though it does require Starbucks to participate in the bargaining process "in good faith." In a statement, a spokesperson for Starbucks previously told Community Impact Newspaper the company preferred the bargaining process to take place without a union in place.