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South Sherwood Forest Boulevard Starbucks wins union election amid nationwide movement

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BATON ROUGE - As of this week, the Starbucks on South Sherwood Forest Boulevard is the third Starbucks store in Louisiana to unionize.

The Baton Rouge location secured the unionization with a 10-4 vote.

"If you want better for yourself and for others, change has to begin with you. We all kind of decided that together," barista Kirby Lanier said.

The Sherwood Forest branch is one of 380 stores across 42 states that have joined Starbucks Workers United, an organization fighting for higher wages, racial and gender equity, fair scheduling and safer working environments.

According to Starbucks Workers United, the coffee chain has been found guilty of committing more than 300 violations of federal labor laws, 38 unlawful firings, refusal to bargain, and unlawfully providing non-union workers higher wages.

"I think we're determined to negotiate until we have a fair contract to make sure that workers at Starbucks have a stable job, stable hours, and a schedule where they have control and a voice in their workplace," Colin Cochran with Starbucks Workers United said.

Despite the nationwide campaign and ongoing legal battles, union leaders say the corporation is still not being compliant.

"Cooperative is a very strong word of which I would not use. They are doing everything within their power to not meet at the negotiations table for a lot of the unionized stores," Lanier said.

Workers at the Starbucks on Saint Claude Avenue in New Orleans filed to hold an election to unionize in the coming weeks.

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