The Starbucks unionization campaign around the country is gathering steam faster than you can say, “Norma Rae.”
With millions of foodservice employees frustrated by low wages and poor working conditions that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, employees are unionizing in droves with Gen-Z (born between 1996 and mid-2000s) workers leading the way.
Unions Are Gaining Momentum
According to a 1983 survey by Pew Research, 20 percent of Americans were members of a union. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this percentage fell dramatically in 2020 to 10.8 percent, and even lower for workers between the ages of 16 to 24 at just 4.4 percent in 2020.
Fast forward to 2021, where we find that 77 percent of young adults support unions, according to a 2021 September Gallup poll.
Since the average age of a Starbucks Barista is 24, it should come as no surprise that these coffee house employees are leading the drive to unionize.
This drive shows no signs of slowing down. More than 90 Starbucks coffee shops in twenty-six states have filed for National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union elections. This unionization push came two months after two Starbucks shops in Buffalo, New York voted to become the first unionized corporate operated Starbucks in the country.
Management During Uncertain Times
Young union organizers are discovering what the older union veterans already know: Running a successful union is a daunting task. Workers can vote to unionize, but it takes years to handle complicated logistics like contract negotiations and the collection of dues.
Union leaders have their work cut out for them as they scramble to organize the logistical tasks needed for this new surge in membership. Meetings, mitigating member issues, mobilizing, educating, and communications all fall under the responsibility of the union head.
For Labor Unions to best serve their membership, services like Unionly are stepping up to the plate.
Unionly is designed to save union leaders time and frustration by supplying organizers with an easy-to-use payment platform created specifically for the needs of unions. Unionly takes the burden of payment management off leadership, allowing for an intuitive platform to do the heavy lifting so that leaders can focus their energy on advocacy, employee support, negotiating, and organizing.
Retaining Control via Dues Management
Union dues have traditionally been collected through payroll deductions. This process has been problematic as it has been used as a union-busting tactic. Retaining control of dues by creating new systems, the organization can maintain control of their future success.
With Unionly, organizations can create custom dues payment pages that best suit their needs. Members can easily pay their union dues from their phones, desktops, or mobile devices. They can also automate their recurring dues payments, so nothing is ever late or in default. The platform provides maximum flexibility so that union leaders don’t have to worry about adding “bill collector” to their laundry list of duties.
Unionly doesn’t just make dues-paying easier; it is a one-stop-shop for managing other union leadership responsibilities. Through Unionly, organizers can host unlimited fundraisers, manage new member registration and custom online stores for union gear, host and even help manage event registration and sponsorships.
Union Management for the Twenty-First Century
We live in a digital age, and moving the management of the union to a digital platform will allow organizations to grow and flourish.
As the Starbucks employees lead the way in creating a new form of unionization, they are sure to find that this process is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes a gargantuan amount of time, energy, and new organizational methods to pave the road to success for the American worker.