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Employees have mixed reactions after Scottsboro Starbucks forms union

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Scottsboro Starbucks forms union

Scottsboro Starbucks officially forms a union.

This one is in Scottsboro. The first was in Birmingham.

The Scottsboro Starbucks has officially formed a union, making it the second Starbucks in the state to unionize, after one location in Birmingham.

As of the first vote in August, votes were tied with eight in favor and eight against. However, four votes were challenged, meaning there were issues with the ballots.

One Scottsboro employee, Corey Bean, has been spearheading the unionization. Bean said the four challenged votes included one person who was not eligible, two workers who had been fired and one ballot that was accidentally cut in half by the National Labor Relations Board.

The ballot cut in half was in favor of a union but had to go through the courts to make sure it was still valid.

On Monday, the decision was finalized, and the Scottsboro Starbucks officially became a union.

"We have secured the win. Starbucks can try to, like, prolong it as much as they want, but we have won," said Bean.

Even though the Scottsboro Starbucks has formed a union, not everyone has to join. Eight out of nine votes were against the union, which means it could be a small majority who actually joins.

Many employees who were on the cusp are left with a lot of questions about what the union means for them.

"I'm hoping it won't affect anything for us, but I really don't know," said employee Laurel Scheeler. "I was pretty neutral, because I know that some people wanted to be in the union, and I completely support them on that. If they want to be in the union, that's all their decision. I personally don't think it's necessary, just because I've worked for Starbucks for two years now."

Scheeler is happy for those who want to join but said she will likely opt out of the union.

"I feel like a union is for people who are in horrible work conditions, but I don't think it's horrible here. Like, it's not perfect, but no place is perfect," said Scheeler.

Bean said having a union will improve working conditions even more.

"If we want to keep these places open and we want to keep workers in these places, we're going to have to support them," said Bean. "... We're in this together. We have a bargaining ability."

He said even for those who do not want to join, the union will help.

"We're gonna have your back still. Like, when we're at the bargaining table, we're gonna bargain for your rights," said Bean.

Now, employees are waiting for answers on what kind of changes the union will bring and who will decide to actually join.

"I love each and every one of them, but this has caused a huge rift and a huge divide in our store, and I can't stand it," said Scheeler.

According to the National Labor Relations Board, parties have 10 business days to appeal the decision to the board. If the decision is not appealed, Starbucks will have to start bargaining with the union and whoever chooses to join.

In a statement, a Starbucks spokesperson told WAAY 31, "From the beginning, we've been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed."

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