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Working People

May 12, 2022

We'll be back with new interviews next week after Jules has settled in and recovered from moving cross country! Until then, with permission from The Real News Network, we are sharing the audio of Max's recent interview with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner in New York City and worker-organizer with Starbucks Workers United.

The rank-and-file effort to unionize Starbucks stores around the United States is one of the most head-spinningly historic worker-led movements in our generation. Since the Elmwood Avenue store in Buffalo, New York, made history by becoming the first location to unionize in December of 2021, hundreds of Starbucks locations have filed for union elections, and the overwhelming majority of stores that have already held elections voted in favor of unionizing. Even in the face of intense opposition from corporate executives and upper-level managers at one of the most powerful companies in the world, and working within the incredibly restrictive confines of US labor law, partners organizing with Starbucks Workers United keep racking up wins. In this interview for TRNN, Max sits down with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner and member of the organizing committee at her store in New York City, which recently filed for a union election, to talk about her own experience working at Starbucks during the COVID-19 pandemic, why she and her fellow partners took that fateful step to organize, and why they, like Starbucks partners around the country, believe that a unionized workforce will make Starbucks a better company.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive:

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song