The Renton Village Starbucks has petitioned to unionize. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.

The Renton Village Starbucks has petitioned to unionize. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.

Renton Village Starbucks files petition to unionize

Workers at the Grady Way location said they are unionizing due to multiple factors

Joining well over 300 Starbucks locations across the country, workers at the Renton Village location have officially filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize with Starbucks Workers United.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Renton Village workers sent a letter to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan to announce their organizing campaign, saying that they are unionizing because local workers face short-staffing, inconsistent scheduling, health and safety hazards and accusing Starbucks of putting “profits over partners.”

“Our store has had a lot of issues that have gotten more intense over time,” said Jay Richardson, who has been a barista at the Renton Village location for two years. “I realized my options were to quit and end up with the same problems at another job. Or I could stand up, support my coworkers, and start doing something about those problems. Workers are strongest when we’re united.”

From a press release, the Renton Village partners said that by unionizing, they were joining a “quickly expanding nationwide movement of over 9,000 baristas organizing together for justice, fighting for improvements on core issues including respect, living wages, racial and gender equity and fair scheduling.”

More than 360 Starbucks stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia have voted to unionize since 2021. There are currently over 9,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

A test rollout Feb. 21 of Kent-based Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. COURTESY PHOTO, Blue Origin
Kent-based Blue Origin debuts New Glenn rocket in Florida

Successful rollout at Cape Canaveral launch pad

The Kaiser Permanente Kent Medical Center on the East Hill. COURTESY PHOTO, Kaiser Permanente
Still no timeline on new Kent Kaiser Permanente facility

Company bought the former Kmart property in 2020

Kent food distribution warehouse changes name to Pacific Coast Fresh Company

Similar to Pacific Coast Fruit name but signifies products beyond produce by Portland-based business

Page Turner Books finds new location in downtown Kent

Water damage from broken pipes causes store to find new spot at 215 First Ave. S.

Muckleshoot Tribe celebrates new Auburn hotel and expanded casino

The 18-story tower features 401 rooms; grand opening celebration Jan. 26-28

Lunar lander will burn up in space before reaching moon

Kent-based Blue Origin helped launch rocket and lander but mission to end early

Burst water pipes damage Page Turner Books in downtown Kent

Pipes freeze in vacant unit above store along West Meeker Street; store seeks donations

Courtesy Photo, Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation to close Kent aluminum can manufacturing facility

About 121 employees to lose jobs at Second Avenue North plant

Engines from Kent’s Blue Origin help launch Vulcan rocket to moon

Unmanned flight hopes to reach lunar surface around Feb. 23

Half Lion files Chapter 11 bankruptcy in attempt to reopen Kent restaurant

Brewing company leases space from city; plans to file reorganization plan by Feb. 7, 2024

Nana’s Southern Kitchen will give away 800 meals on Christmas Day in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Nana’s Southern Kitchen
Donations boost Nana’s Southern Kitchen giveaway in Kent to 800 meals

Food will be distributed on Christmas Day to those in need; initial tally was 250 meals